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1 Church and Burying Ground. 

2 Large Fort. 

3 BoNDET Hill. 

4 Old Mill. 

5 Upper Mill. 

6 French Houses. 

7 Johnson House. 

8 Great Plain. 

9 Johnson's Plain. 

10 Woodstock Great Trail. 

11 Boston Road. 

12 Rich's Mill. 

13 Mendon Meadow. 

14 Bug Swamp. 

15 Great Meadow. 

16 Augutteeack Pond. 

17 Humphrey Homestead. 

18 Samuel Davis Homestead. 

19 Main Street. 

20 Line of Bernon Grant. 

21 Bondet Meadow. 

22 Common Way. 

23 Mayo Homestead. 

24 Huguenot Orchard. 










Oxford Prior to 1713 




Plantations are amongst ancient, primitive, and heroical works. — Bacok 








N0YE8, SNOW & CO., Edition Liuixed. 

'Worcester, Maae. 


Every fact relating to the Huguenots, however 
slight, has a notable interest. It has been well 
said that they gave a lustre and a glory to 
every place and to every thing they touched. 
The history, therefore, of their sojourn in the 
"Nipmuck Country," while it is the first chapter 
in the history of the Town of Oxford, is in itself, 
independently, a story which will be appreciated 
by many in our country who have no special 
interest in the locality. 

It has been the design in this memoir to 
bring together all the facts referring to the 
Oxford Colonies, from every available source, and 
to arrange them, so far as possible, in such a 
manner as might best set forth the course of 
events, adding only such legitimate inferences 
and comments as would seem to be demanded 
to complete the narrative. 


Special thanks are here tendered to Rev. Chas. 
W. Baird, D. D., of Rye, N. Y., who has given 
very essential aid in the preparation of this 
volume, by the contribution of important facts, 
and of original documents, both English and 
French in translation, these having been collected 
by him during his extensive researches for mate- 
rials for his "History of the Huguenot Emigra- 
tion to America," soon to be published. 

If the result of the publication of this little 
volume shall be to awaken in the people of 
Oxford a deeper interest in the history of the 
town, and to move them to take action for the 
continuance of the work of its preparation by a 
more competent hand, the writer will feel that 
his labors have not been in vain. 



The Nipmuck Country, 17. — Its native inhabitants, 18. — Efforts 
to Christianize them, 19. — Praying towns, 21. — Philip's influence, 
23. — Destruction of towns in Worcester County, 24. — Treatment 
of the Indians by the English, 27. — Closing of Philip's war, 28. 
— Disastrous results of the war to the Nipmucks. — Indignation 
of the people, 29. 


First movement toward a settlement in the Nipmuck country. — Its 
failure, 31. — Intentions of Dudley and Stoughton to make <t 
settlement. — Authorized to treat with Indians for land, 32. — 
Reports to General Court, 33, — Approval of Court, and grant of 
land for services, 34. — Deeds of purchase and confirmation of 
them. — Description of lands conveyed, 35. — Reservation for the 
Indians. — Thompson associated with Dudley and Stoughton, 38. 
— Grant to Thompson for services, 39. — Dudley's efficiency in 
public affairs. — Cox, Blackwell and Freak associated with Dud- 
ley and Stoughton, 40. — Prospects of the colony for success. — 
Obstacles to progress, 41. 


Grant for Oxford. — Survey by Mr. Gore, 43. — Description of the 
plat, 44. — Part of the grant given for a Village. — Division of 


remainder. — Village line, 46. — Dudley sole manager for the 
proprietors. — Deed of division, 47. — Augutteback pond, 49. 


Advantages of the location for settlement, 50. — Plains. — Its early 
reputation as a corn growing country. — Meadows, 51. — Streams. 
— Fish and game, 52.— Bay Path, 54. — Connecticut path.— 
New Roxbury and New Oxford, 55. — Dudley's agency in both, 56. 
— Communication between the two colonies. — The Chandlers, 57. 


Extension of time for settlement of New Oxford. — The Huguenots. 

— Sketch of the French reformation, 59. — Massacre of St. Bar- 
tholomew. — Promulgation and revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 

— Suffering of the Protestants under Louis XIV., 61. — Their 
flight from the country. — Character of these people. — Skill as 
artisans and agriculturists, 62. — Their settlement in London, 
Holland, Brazil and North America. — Influence upon our insti- 
tutions. — This country early looked to as a place of refuge, 64. — 
Gabriel Bernon introduced to Thompson in London. — Contract 
to settle thirty families on the Oxford grant. — Grant to Du 
Tuffeau as ■ agent of Bernon. — Bernon comes to Boston. — 
Receives an additional grant, 65. 


Lack of documentary evidence in reference to the Huguenots who 
came to New Oxford, 66. — Arrival of emigrants in Boston. — 
Time of the beginning of the settlement, 67. — Choice of location 


for headquarters. — Fort. — Great house. — Church, 68. — Burying 
ground and small fort. — Mills, 69. — Plantations. — Beauty of 
the plan, 70. 


Papers referring to colony. — Letter of French refugee in Boston. — 
Quantity of land to each family. — The two plantations, inland 
and on the seaboard, 72. — Vandenbosch, pastor of the Boston 
colony, 73. — Wagons as means of conveyance, 74. — Deed of 
Dudley and company to Bernon. — Deed of division. — Probable 
settlement of the required thirty families in the spring of 1688, 75. 

— Contract for building a mill, between Bernon and Church. — 
Mill built in 1689. — Bondet's representations and petition in 
reference to the Indians, 76. — Petition of the Selectmen of Wood- 
stock, 77. — Daniel Allen chosen representative, 78. — Andrew 
Sigourney's representations and petition. — Disasters to the colony. 

— Desertion by prominent men, 80. — Dread of the Indians. — 
The colony reaches the height of its prosperity, 81. — The people 
garrisoned for three months. — Bondet's desertion of the settle- 
ment, 82. — Johnson massacre, 83. — Dismay of the people at the 
attack. — Desertion of the settlement in haste. — Scene at their 
departure, 85. 


Re-occupation. — Petition of the inhabitants by James Laborie, their 
minister. — Complaint against Bondet, 88. — Rum the cause of all 
disturbance in the colony. — Petition to have its sale prohibited. — 
Transportation of meat out of the plantation, 89. — Laborie's 
letter to the Earl of Bellomont, 90. — The Indians leaving for 
Pennacook. — Earl of Bellomont to the Lords of Trade. — Jesuit 
priests and the Indians, 91. — Petition of French Protestants in 


Boston. — They have assisted those who returned to New Oxford, 
92. — Gov. Dudley's letter to Bernon commissioning him as cap- 
tain, 93. — The fraternal spirit and benevolence of the Huguenots, 
94. — Soldiers stationed at Oxford in 1703, 95. — Laborie called 
to New York. — Final abandonment. 96. 


Dudley and Bernon's continued interest in the plantation. — Bernon 
retaining possession. — Dudley's letter to Bernon censuring his 
agents, 97.^ — Agreement between Bernon and Oliver and Nathanael 
CoUer, 98. — Bernon's letter to Dudley complaining of Mr. Hag- 
burn, 99. — Bernon's tenants remain. — His reliance upon pos- 
session, 100. — His inability to hold the old mill. — His presentation 
of the stones and irons to Daniel Elliot, loi. — Dudley's letter of 
thanks for the same. — Bernon's reply, 102. — Letter of Bernon to 
the son of Gov. Dudley asking assistance, 103. — Losses by his 
tenants, and drowning of his servant. — His financial difficulties, 
104. — Bernon's application to Gov. Shute for reimbursement. — 
Certificates of his friends, 106. — Peculiar condition of Bernon's 
claim. — Squatters occupy his lands. — Oxford recognizes his 
rights. — Complication of the case, 107. — The tract occupied by 
him not included in his conveyance. — The "Bernon line," 108. — 
Bernon administrator of Du Tuffeau's estate. — Sale of his land, 
109. — Action of Oxford proprietors, 1 10. — Report of a committee 
to settle the lines. — Mayo and Davis, iii. — Deed from Dudley to 
Bernon, 112. — Sale to Bowdoin, 113. 


Bernon papers. — His antecedents, 114. — His obituary notice. — 
His success as a business man/ii5. — His business undertakings 
— Manufacture of ship stores, and petition to the king of England, 


ii6. — Removal to Newport, Narragansett and Providence. — Zeal 
for Episcopacy. — Daniel Bondet, 117. — Noble descent. — Letter 
to Increase Mather, 118. — Letter to Lord Cornbury, 1 20. — Labors 
gt New Rochelle. — His death. — His memory perpetuated in 
Oxford. — Andrew Sigourney, 122. — His family. — Prof. Butler's 
sketch, 123. — Du Tufteau. — Goes to New Rochelle, 124. — 
Laborie. — Goes to New York. — Will of Jean Martin, 125. 


The industries of the place. — Bernon's manufacture of glove or wash 
leather, 127. — The wash leather mill. — Dea. Humphrey on 
Bourdille, 128. — Return of two members of the Sigourney family. 
— The Shumway family, 129. — Origin of the name. — Petition of 
Peter Shumway, 130. — Huguenot relics, 131. — Orchards. — Sites 
of Huguenot houses. — Chimney stone of the Johnson house, 132. 
— Ruins of the fort. — Their present appearance, 133. — Site of 
the upper mills. — Work of the Huguenots now standing, 136. — 
Names of Huguenot families settled in Oxford, 137. — Proclama- 
tion of the Proprietors, 138. — The coming in of the English 
settlers, 139. 




My dear Sir : — 

I have read carefully, and with great interest, 
but not critically, the rhanuscript you sent me. 
I say not critically, because it would be a work of 
much labor to follow you through your long and 
pains-taking investigations, and this I cannot pre- 
tend to have done. I am sure, however, that 
your memoir is a true labor of love, performed 
conscientiously, for its own sake, and a valuable 
contribution to our local history. 

Of all my father's historical studies, none ever 
interested me so much as his " Memoir of the 
French Protestants who settled at Oxford, in 
Massachusetts, A. D. MDCLXXXVI." All the 
circumstances connected with that second Colony 
of Pilgrim Fathers are such as to invest it with 
singular attractions for the student of history, the 


antiquary, the genealogist. It carries us back to 
the memories of the Massacre of Saint Bartholo- 
mew, to the generous Edict of Nantes and the 
gallant soldier -king who issued it; to the days 
of the Grand Monarque, and the cruel Act of 
Revocation which drove into exile hundreds of 
thousands of the best subjects of France — among 
them the little band which was planted in our 
Massachusetts half tamed wilderness. It leads the 
explorer who loves to linger around the places 
consecrated by human enterprise, efforts, trials, 
triumphs, sufferings; to localities still marked with 
the fading traces of the strangers who there 
found a refuge for a few brief years, and then 
wandered forth to know their homes no more. It 
tells the lover of family history where the 
un-English names which he is constantly meet- 
ing with — Bowdoin, Faneuil, Sigourney — found 
their origin, and under what skies was moulded 
the type of lineaments, unlike those of Anglo- 
Saxon parentage, which he finds among certain of 
his acquaintance, and it may be in his own family 
or himself. 


And what romance can be fuller of interest 
than the story of this hunted handful of Protest- 
ants leaving, some of them at an hour's warning, 
all that was dear to them, and voluntarily 
wrecking themselves, as it were, on this shore, 
where the savage and the wolf were waiting 
ready to dispute possession with the feeble 
intruders ? They came with their trained skill 
to a region where trees were to be felled, wild 
beasts to be slain, the soil to be subdued to 
furnish them bread, the whole fabric of social 
order established under new conditions. They 
came from the sunny skies of France to the 
capricious climate where the summers were fierce 
and the winters terrible with winds and snows. 
They left the polished amenities of an old civiliza- 
tion, for the homely ways of rude settlers of 
another race and language. Their lips, which 
had shaped themselves to the harmonies of a 
refined language, — which had been used to speak- 
ing such names as Rochefort and Beauvoir and 
Angouleme, — had to distort themselves into the 
utterance of words like Manchaug and Wabquasset 


and Chaubunagungamaug. The short and simple 
annals of this brave and gentle company of 
emigrants are full of trials and troubles, and 
ended with a bloody catastrophe. The Indians to 
whom " rome was sold without order and measure" 
were complained of as getting " so furious with 
drunkness that they fought like bears." They 
fell upon, and dangerously if not fatally wounded 
one of the preachers sent among them. At 
length the massacre of four of a family of five 
persons by the savages, broke up the settlement, 
and though some few of the original colonists 
returned for a season, the place was soon finally 

My father visited the site of the little colony in 
1 8 19 and 1825. He traced the lines of the fort, 
and was "regaled with the perfumes of the shrub- 
bery and the grapes then hanging in clusters on 
the vines planted by the Huguenots above a 
century before." I visited the place between 
twenty and thirty years ago, and found many 
traces of the old settlement. After Plymouth; I 
do not think there is any locality in New Eng- 


land more interesting. This little band of French 
families, transported from the shore of the Bay 
of Biscay to the wilds of our New England 
interior, reminds me of the isolated group of 
magnolias which we find surrounded by the ordi- 
nary forest trees in our Massachusetts town of 
Manchester. It is a surprise to meet with them, 
and we wonder how they came there, but they 
glorify the scenery with their tropical flowers, and 
sweeten it with their fragrance. Such a pleasing 
surprise is the effect of coming upon this small 
and transitory abiding- place of the men and 
women who left their beloved and beautiful land 
for the sake of their religion. The lines of 
their fort may become obliterated, "the perfumes 
of the shrubbery " may no longer be perceived, 
but the ground they hallowed by their footsteps 
is sacr.ed, and the air around their old Oxford 
home is sweet with their memory. 

Boston, June, 1879. 

"The savage arrow scathed them, and dark clouds 
Involv'd their infant Zion, yet they bore 
Toil and affliction with unwavering eye 
Fixed on the heavens, and firm in hope sublime 
Sank to their last repose. Full many a son 
Among the noblest of our land looks back 
Through Time's long vista, and exulting claims 
These as his Sires." — L. H. S., Holmes' Mem. 83. 




The Town of Oxford has its site near the middle 
of a large territory lying mainly in the southern 
central part of Massachusetts, known at the time of 
the settlement of Boston, in 1630, as the " Nipmuck 
Country." Its bounds were very indefinite, but it 
extended from the vicinity of Natick, westerly to the 
Connecticut river, and from the vicinity of Worcester, 
southerly some twenty-five or thirty miles, down the 
Quinebaug valley, into what is now Connecticut. 

The first mention we have in history of this locality, 
occurs in the record of an excursion of John Win- 
throp and a few friends, in 1632. Wishing to spy 
out this region, then almost unknown, they ascended 
the Charles river so far, that from a high position 
they overlooked, as they reported, the whole Nip- 
muck Country, and " saw a very high hill, due west." 
Three years later a company of sixty settlers from 


Watertown, being desirous of possessing more land 
than that place could afford them, took their way over 
the Indian trails westward, bound for the rich inter- 
vals of the Connecticut valley, and " seized a brave 
piece of meadow " at Wethersfield. Doubtless they 
passed near the site of this village, and probably were 
the first white men who trod the soil of this region. 
At that time the westerly part of this tract was wild 
hunting ground, and the eastern portion was quite 
thinly inhabited by the Nipmuck Indians in scattered 
villages, their numbers having been greatly reduced 
by recent wars with western tribes, and by fatal 

The name " Nipmuck," or " Nipnet," which signi- 
fies " fresh water,'' was given to all the dwellers upon 
this large inland tract, to distinguish them from the 
more numerous and powerful tribes which lived 
upon the sea coast.^ They were an inferior people, 
who appear to have owed some fealty to the 
Pokanokets.' Miss Larned, in her History of 

' Brigham's Centennial Add., Grafton, 1835. 

'■ This name, in its original signification, was applied to other 
tribes in New England, but it came to have a special application 
to the inhabitants of this central Massachusetts region. Dif- 
ferent branches of this tribe assumed the names of the particu- 
lar localities in which they lived. 

3 Palfrey Hist. New Eng., I. 24. 


Windham County, well describes them thus : 

"They were subject clans, of little spirit or distinc- 
tive character. Their number was small. A few 
families occupied the favorable localities, while large 
sections were left vacant and desolate. Their dwell- 
ings were poor, their weapons and utensils rude and 
scanty. They raised corn and beans, and wove mats 
and baskets. Their lives were chiefly spent in 
hunting, fishing and idling." 

They did not exhibit the enterprise and intelli- 
gence of the neighboring tribes, but seemed more 
peaceful and inclined to assimilate with the whites 
as they came to have intercourse with them ; and, 
as did other tribes in the Colony, early showed a 
disposition to become civilized and to have the 
institutions of religion established among them. 

The General Court of Massachusetts, wishing to 
meet these wants, passed an order Nov. 19th, 1644, 
inaugurating measures looking toward their Christ- 
ianization and improvement, i thus becoming, as 
Palfrey says, "the first missionary society in the 
history of Protestant Christendom."- In 1646, John 
Eliot, known as the "Apostle to the Indians," having 
been for fourteen years teacher of the Roxbury 
Church, and through the instrumentality of a native 

' Palfrey, II. 188. ^ Ibid., 189. 


servant, having learned the rudiments of the Indian 
language, began his labors in Nonantum, a part of 
Newton. I In 165 1 he removed the headquarters of 
his operations to Natick, and while still retaining 
his pastorate at Roxbury, for nearly twenty-five 
years, until interrupted by Philip's war, he and his 
co-laborers traveled, preached, taught and advised in 
matters civil and religious, establishing schools, 
founding churches, and installing native teachers 
and pastors among many tribes in the province, 
including this far off and humble people of the 
Nipmuck Country. = 

» Palfrey, II. 190. 

2 " The " Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New 
England," whose headquarters were in London, entered upon 
its work with considerable efficiency. So far as practicable it 
co-operated with Eliot, who was encouraged in his labors by 
an annual "honorarium " paid by the society, he receiving at 
first fifteen pounds, then twenty, [Gookin.] and afterward fifty. 
[Hazard, II. 378.] He did not, however, always act harmo- 
niously with the commissioners of the Society, but differed with 
them as to ways and means, and thus incurred the censure of 
its managers, who characterized his proceedings as " turbulent 
and clamorous," but still retained his services and ordered his 
salary to be increased. [Hazard, II. 332.] These commissioners 
selected native young men to be educated at Cambridge as 
teachers, and had authority from the Society to erect there a 
building " thirty feet in length and twenty feet in width," for 


■To a considerable extent success attended their 
labors, especially in those villages which were 
near the English settlements on the eastern 
coast. Seven communities were established from 
Hassanamesit — now Grafton — eastward, and were 
called "praying towns," and later, from that place 
to Wabquasset, now Woodstock, were established 
five others, which were called "new praying towns." ' 

native pupils. They encouraged education by giving bounties, 
they printed catechisms in the native language, and furnished 
books for teachers. [Palfrey, II. 333.] In 1658 Eliot's native 
teachers were paid ten pounds each, and he received two 
pounds for Bibles, spectacles and primers for the natives. The 
outlay of the Society in this, the eighth year of its operations, 
was five hundred and twenty pounds, chiefly in salaries to 
teachers, and the sustaining of pupils in the schools at Cam- 
bridge. [Ibid.] Mr. Eliot's efforts were put forth for the 
civilization as well as the Christianization of the people. He 
encouraged the building of frame houses, and the making of 
homes for separate families, the planting of gardens and 
orchards, the raising and utilizing of flax and hemp, and at 
Natick, under his direction, a bridge eighty feet long was built 
across the river, and a hall fifty by twenty-five feet was erected 
for public worship. [Ibid. II. 336, 337.] 

I The seven " old praying towns " were these : — Natick, 
Pakemitt, now OluughLcjn , — Ockoocangansett, now Marl- 
borough, — Wamesitt, now Lowell, — Hassanamesit, now Graf- 
ton, — Nashobah, now Littleton, — Magunkook, now Hopkin- 


Hassanamesit became the centre of influence in this 
circle of praying communities. It was the dwelling 
place of Wattascompanum, chief ruler of the tribe, a 
professed convert to Christianity, who was an effi- 
cient aid to the English magistrate in managing the 
civil affairs of the Indians, and who exerted a 
controlhng influence among his own people. A 
flourishing school was established there, from which 
native teachers went out to neighboring villages, i 
the forms of civil government were to some extent 
adopted, the Bible in their native language was 
within reach of all, and was taught them by native 
teachers in every village, and notwithstanding many 
things which remained unpromising, Eliot and his 
companion in labor, Daniel Gookin, 2 who from 1656 
had been "betrusted and employed for the civil 
government and conduct of the Indians in Massa- 
chusetts Colony," were encouraged to believe that 

ton. Gookin, in his account of a visit with Eliot to the Nipmucks 
in 1674, gives the names of the "new praying towns," begin- 
ning with Manchaug, now Oxford, twelve families, — Chau- 
bunagungamaug, now Webster, five miles southerly, nine 
families, — Maanexit on the Quinebaug river, four or five miles 
further south, — Quantisset, now Thompson Hill and Wab- 
quasset, now Woodstock. 

■ Brigham's Add. 

= Palfrey, II. 338. 


these people were to become Christianized, and thus 
made the friends and helpers of the settlers who 
were to come among them. 

Yet, underneath all this fair and promising exterior 
there lay the peculiar Indian character. The test 
came when "Philip of Pokanoket" rallied all his allies 
to make his grand assault upon the English colonies 
in 1675. Then those instincts which have shown 
themselves in most of the native tribes of our 
country, appeared in the Nipmucks in all their 
malignity, and when once aroused, these appar- 
ently quiet and inoffensive men did not shrink 
from the commission of deeds most shocking and 
barbarous. There were, indeed, exceptions, for in 
the new praying towns a few, and in the old pray- 
ing towns many, adhered to their alliance with the 
English ; but the more remote branches of the tribe 
from Hassanamesit westward, to use the language 
of Gookin, "being raw, and lately initiated in the 
Christian profession, most of them fell off from the 
English and joined the enemy." i Apparently their 
alliance with the settlers had been founded on a 
basis of justice, and their better judgment doubtless 

I "The Wabquassets did not join Philip, but fled south- 
ward and placed themselves under the protection of Uncas, 
at Mohegan." Miss Larned, Hist. Wind. Co., I. 10. 


would have held them firmly to the whites as their 
true friends, but Philip plied them with argument 
and solicitation, possibly also urging his claims to 
their support as subjects, until they yielded. In 
the words of Palfrey, — 

" A taste for havoc was established between heathen 
Wampanoag and half converted Nipmuck. Without 
provocation, and without warning, they gave full sway 
to the inhuman passions of their savage nature, and 
broke into a wild riot of pillage, arson and massacre." 

During that disastrous time, the summer, autumn 
and winter of 1675, they pursued their deadly work 
among the colonists, not only of this region but also 
of the Connecticut valley, and throughout the interior 
of the state, ruin and disaster prevailed. Mendon, 
Lancaster, Brookfield and Worcester, the only settle- 
ments in this county, were burned, and more or less 
of savage cruelty attended their destruction. Capt. 
Wheeler, with twenty men sent from headquarters as 
an escort to Mr. Edward Hutchinson, who came on a 
peaceful errand to the Nipmucks, was drawn by them 
into an ambush near Brookfield, on the 2d of August 
1675, and he and three others were wounded, 
and eight men killed, i One day previous to this 
attack, Philip being hard pressed by his pursuers, 

I Palfrey, III. 159. 


came up from his refuge near the coast, and with his 
forty attendants was received and sheltered here, i 
Wattascompanum became one of Philip's most pliant 
aids, and was very efficient in seducing the praying 
Indians from their fidelity.2 Gookin says, he was "a 
prudent, and I believe a pious man, and had given 
good demonstration of it for many years. This 
man yielded to the enemy's arguments, and by his 
example drew most of the rest." Matoonas, another 
chief, also gave the English much trouble. He made 
some pretence to religion, and in 1674 was appointed 
constable at Pakachoag.^ But he had a grudge 
against the whites because of the execution of his 
son for murder in 1671, and when the war broke out 
he was ripe for revenge. He became one of the 
foremost of the assailants, led in their dances, and 
in the attack on Mendon was at their head, and 
killed four or five persons himself. A writer of the 
time called him "an old, malicious villain."* 
Increase Mather says, 

" Matoonas was the first Indian that treacherously shed Eng- 
lish blood in the Massachusetts colony. He some years before 
pretended to something of religion, being a professor in general 

■ Palfrey, III. 159. ^ Ibid. III. 220. 

3 Gookin speaks of him as " that grave and sober Indian." 

4 Drake, Am. Ind. 


(though never baptized nor of the in-churched Indians) that 
he might more covertly manage the hellish designs of revenge 
that were harbored in his devilish heart." " 

"James the printer," a promising young man of 
Hassanamesit, joined Philip, and led a company of 
warriors against the colonists. - 

" Frequently the marauders in the Nipmuck Coun- 

■ Drake, App. 

2 "James the Printer" seems to have been one of the most 
interesting Indian characters mentioned in the accounts of 
those early times. When a child he was taken into the Indian 
school at Cambridge, and was afterward apprenticed — probably 
to Mr. Green — for sixteen years, to learn the art of printing, 
but ran away before his time expired. He was Eliot's most 
valuable assistant in printing the Indian Bible. In 1683 this 
worthy man wrote thus to a friend in London, in reference to 
a revised edition of this book, — "I desire to see it done before 
I die, and I am so deep in years that I cannot expect to live 
long ; besides, we have but one man, viz., the Indian printer, 
that is able to compose the sheets and correct the press with 

James was sometime teacher, both at Hassanamesit and 
Chaubunagungamaug, and worked at printing after the war, 
and, in company with Mr. Green, printed the Indian Psalter in 

" Printer " became the surname of the family, and his reputed 
descendants have lived in Grafton, until within a very few 
years past. Pierce, Hist. Grafton. 


try were recognized as professors of Christianity, nor 
in that region was it found that any community, or 
any considerable number of natives could be relied 
on as allies." ^ 

Yet, though the Nipmucks acted a prominent part in 
this tragedy, they did not receive the retribution which 
their deeds would have seemed to demand. We find 
recorded no war-like movement against them as a 
tribe, except the occasional coming among them of 
small foraging parties for corn and swine, and the 
expedition of Capt. Gorham, with one hundred' men, 
from Plymouth, in October, 1675, who burned their 
corn-fields and a few wigwams and mats. 2 In June, 
1676, Maj. Talcott and four hundred and fifty men, 
English and Indians, were marching from Norwich to 
join the Massachusetts troops at Brookfield, on their 
way to the Connecticut valley. At Wabquasset they 
destroyed a deserted fort and the growing corn, and 
at Chaubunagungamaug killed and captured fifty-two 

But rigid civil restraint was resorted to. The 
authorities issued special orders, requiring the 
tribe to come together in five places which were 
named, and there build wigwams in compact settle- 
ments, and not to go more than a mile away from 

' Palfrey, III. 199. ^ Gookin. 3 Conn. Rec, II. 453. 


them unless accompanied by an Englishman, under 
the penalty of imprisonment or death. Extending 
hospitalities to other Indians was also forbidden, i 

In the midsummer of 1676 the tide of affairs 
began to turn in favor of the colonists. Wattas- 
companum was captured, taken to Boston, tried, 
and executed June 26th.- On the first of July, 
"James the printer," and a hundred and forty fol- 
lowers, under a promise of pardon, surrendered 
themselves, 3 and on the 2Sth, the Sagamore John, 
and one hundred and eighty followers also laid down 
their arms. 4 Matoonas was also taken, and shot on 
Boston common July 28th, ^ and three other Nip- 
muck chiefs were hanged in Boston soon after the 
death of Philip. 6 

The energy and tact of Capt. Church, who was 
ably seconded by Maj. Talcott, succeeded in defeat- 
ing and demoralizing Philip's forces, so that August 
found him back again in his old retreat at Mount 
Hope, shorn of his strength, but still defiant. ' Here 
he was killed August 12th, and his death, with that 

' Gookin, Am. Archasol., II. 453. 

2 Drake, In. Biog. 5 Mather, Brief Hist., 39. 

3 Mather, Brief Hist., 43. ^ Drake, In. Biog. 

4 Mather, Brief Hist., 46. 7 Palfrey, III. 204. 


of his captain, Annawon, which occurred August 
28th, virtually ended the contest. ' 

To the Nipmucks the results of this war were 
disastrous in the extreme. The execution of so many 
of their prominent men, added to other losses inci- 
dent to such a struggle, had the effect completely to 
prostrate them, and only a feeble and spiritless rem- 
nant was found here when the English commenced 
negotiations with them preparatory to a settlement. 2 

" This war was very disastrous to the labors of Mr. Eliot, and 
almost entirely suspended them. The irritation against the 
Indians was very great, and jealousy and distrust of his 
converts were everywhere rife, and the rage of the people was 
violent and alarming. Mr. Gookin and Mr. Eliot incurred much 
abuse." 3 

The indignation .against the natives, on account of 
their faithlessness, was general and deep-seated among 
the English. Eliot, Gookin, and Thomas Danforth 
pleaded alone in their behalf before the government, 
and the last two were threatened with death on this 

I Palfrey, III. 206. 

' " The Nipmucks found themselves almost annihilated." 
Miss Larned, I. 11. 

3 Morton's N. E. Mem., 391. — "Six years after the close of 
the war, Eliot could claim but four towns in the state." One of 
these was Chaubunagungamaug. — Drake, 179. 


account. I But it would seem that in the excitement, 
in the case of Wattascompanum at least, great injus- 
tice was done. 

Drake says, " Some of the proceedings against this 
man have of late been brought to light. His case is 
one of most melancholy interest, and his fate will be 
deeply regretted ; inasmuch as the proof against him, 
so far as we can discover, would not at any other 
time be deemed worthy of a moment's consideration. 
The younger Eliot pleaded earnestly for him that he 
might even have a new trial, but without avail." 

' Mass. Arch., XXX. 193. 




The first movement toward a settlement in the 
Nipmuck Country after the close of the war, was 
the petition of Mr. Hugh Campbell, a Scotch mer- 
chant of Boston, in February, 1680, for land for a 
colony. The General Court granted his petition, but 
we have nothing to show that a settlement was 
begun. The answer of the Court to Mr. Campbell's 
petition is as follows : — 

" This Court judgeth it meete to allow to the petitioner, on 
behalfe of such as may on that account transport themselues 
hither, such accomodation to their number in the Nepmug 
country as it will affoord, prouided they come w'thin two yeares 
next after this grant." ' 

From the index to this record we learn that this 
grant was made in behalf of a company of Scotch 
emigrants who were purposing to settle in Massa- 

At about the same, time two leading men in the 

' Mass. Col. Rec, V. 263. 


Province, William Stoughton and Joseph Dudley, 
were also contemplating a settlement in this region. 
The venerable Eliot — Dudley's pastor — who by his 
repeated visits here had become familiar with its 
resources, and his co-laborer and friend Gookin, who 
also knew both people and country well, doubtless 
encouraged the plan, as their strong desire was that 
the institutions of civilization and religion might be 
re-established among the Indians, who were in a 
sense their wards, and whose welfare would be 
largely affected by such influences as a colony of 
settlers might bring. 

In proceeding with 'their plan, the first point with 
these gentlemen was to inquire into the matter of 
the ownership of the lands they proposed to occupy, 
and the rights of the Indians in them. On this sub- 
ject they petitioned the General Court. 

In answer to this motion and petition the Court 
replied. May nth, 1681, as follows : 

" The Court judgeth it meete to grant this motion, and doe 
further desire & impower the wor'pffl Wm. Stoughton & 
Joseph Dudley, Esqs, to take particcular care & inspection into 
the matter of the land in the Nipmug Country, what titles are 
pretended to by Indeans or others, and the validity of them, and 
make returne of what they find therein to this Court assoone as 
may be." ' 

' Mass. Col. Rec, V. 315. 


This commission reported October i6th, 1681, that 
in June they had had a general meeting at Cambridge 
of all the claimants, but finding them at variance as 
to their several claims, they dismissed them until 
they could agree among themselves. They further 

"Since which time, in September last, perceiving a better- 
vnderstanding amongst them, wee warned seuerall of the prin- 
cipal! claymers to attend vsinto the country, & travajle the same 
in company with us as farr & as much as one weeke would 
allow us, & find that the southerne part, clajmed by Black 
James and company is capable of good setlement, if not too 
scant of meadow, though vncerteine what will fall w'thin bounds 
if our lyne be to be quEestioned." ' 

They reported also upon lands in other quarters, 
but the action of the Court appears to have been taken 
only upon the Nipmuck lands. Stoughton and Dud- 
ley were empowered to treat with the owners thereof, 
and "to agree w'th them vpon the easiest termes 
that may be obtejned." 2 

On the 1 8th of February, 168 1-2, another report 
was made by the agents to the Court, stating that 

' Mass. Col. Rec, V. 328.-The boundary line between the Mas- 
sachusetts and Connecticut colonies was at this time unsettled. 
2 Ibid. 329. 


with the Hassanamesit and Natick Indians they had 
agreed for all their land 

"lying fower miles northward of the present Sjiringfeild road, 
& southward to that, haue agreed betweene Blacke James & 
them, of which wee aduised in our late returne, wee haue pur- 
chased at thirty pounds money & a coate." 

" The southern halfe of sajd countrey wee haue purchased 
of Blacke James & company, for twenty pounds." ' 

The doings of Stoughton and Dudley were ap- 
proved by the Court, and one thousand acres of land 
were voted to each for their "great care & pajnes." " 
These grants were surveyed by John Gore, at Man- 
chaug, in one plat, and confirmed to them June 4th, 

In the act of General Court confirming this grant, 
it is described as 

" conteyning 1 800 acres, with allowance of addition of two 
hundred more next adjoyning, to compleat the same to 2000 
acres, * * « in the Nipmug Country, at a place called 
Marichouge [Manchaug] the lyne being marked w'th rainging 
markes in the corners with S. D.," [the initials of grantees.] 
According to the earliest plan in the Oxford Records, 
"Manchaug Farm" measured 674 rods on its east and west 
lines and 434 rods on its north and south lines. This 
included both Stoughton's and Dudley's shares. A later plan, 
made after the incorporation of the town of Dudley, in 1731 
gives "Manchaug Farm" as iioo acres, the property of the 

■ Mass. Col. Rec, V. 342. 2 Ibid. 343. 3 Ibid. 488. 


"heirs of Mr. Dudley" and "belonging to Oxford." A still 
later plan made in 1756 shows 1020 acres as in Oxford, and 
belonging to Thomas Dudley — and adjoining it on the east, in 
Sutton, is shown the balance of the plat as "now Richard 
Waters', and others'." 

The deeds of purchase dated Feb. loth, 1 68 1-2, were 
presented to the Court May 27th, 1682, and received 
its confirmation, i The descriptions of the land con- 
veyed are somewhat indefinite, but a careful study of 
the deeds leads to the conclusion that with Waban and 
company, Natick men, the bargain was for all the lands 
they claimed west of the Blackstone river, between 
the southern line of Massachusetts and an imaginary 
line commencing with the Blackstone river at a point 
four miles northerly of the Springfield road, and run- 
ning south-westerly till it joined said Massachusetts 
southern line, and thus enclosing a triangle. 2 

■ Mass. Col. Rec, V. 361. 

2 The description in the first deed is as follows : — " all that 
part of the Nipmug Country * * * lying, and being beyond 
the great ryuer called Kuttatuck, or Nipmug [Blackstone] Ryver, 
and betweene a rainge of marked trees, beginning at sajd riuer 
and runing south east till it fall vpon the south lyne of the sajd 
Massachusets colony on the south, and a certaine imaginary 
lyne fowre miles on the north side of the road, as it now Ijeth, 
to Springfeild on the north, the sajd great riuer * * * on 
the eastward, and the sajd patent lyne on the westward." In the 


With " Black James," the bargain was for the south- 
ern part of the same territory, designing also to include 
lands which extended into what is now Connecticut. 

These deeds were delivered at Natick, May 19th, 
1682, and on the 27th the commissioners reported 
that they had effected a purchase 

"from the principall men of Naticke * * * of a parcell 
of remote & wast land belonging to said Indians, lying at the 
vtmost westerly bounds of Naticke, and, as wee are informed, — 
is for quantity about' — acres, more or lesse, being mean land." ' 

The consideration in the first deed was thirty 
pounds, and the first signature was that of Waban, 
who was chief at Natick. Twenty-two names were 

second deed it is as follows ; — " all that part of the sajd 
Nipmug country » * * lying, & being on the south part 
of the sajd colony of the Mattachusets, beyond the great riuer 
* * * bounded with the Mattachusets patent line * » * 
on the south, and certeine marked trees, beginning at sajd riuer 
and runing south east, till it strike vpon the bounds the of sajd 
patent line ; on the north, the sajd great riuer ; on the east, and 
coming to a point on the west. " Mass. Col. Rec, V. 362 — 365. 

The commissioners say in their report Feb. 168 1-2, "The 
whole tract in both deeds conteyned is in a forme of a 
trjangle & reduced to a square, conteyneth a tract about fifty 
miles long & twenty miles wide." Ibid. 342. 

I Ibid. 361. 


attached, probably representing the chief men of 
the tribe living east of the Blackstone river, i 

In the second deed the amount acknowledged was 
twenty pounds. The first signature was that of 
Black James of Chaubunagungamaug,^ and the 
twenty-nine other signers were doubtless inhabitants 
of the tract conveyed. The black coat was given 
to Black James as a mark of honor.s 

1 Waban was the first Indian chief who professed Christi- 
anity, and he entertained Mr. Eliot in his wigwam at his first 
going among the Nipmucks. [Gookin.] He maintained a char- 
acter for integrity and reliability which was recognized by the 
state authorities, and was appointed a justice of the peace, or 
"ruler of fifty," and was somewhat noted as a magistrate. The 
following is a copy of one of his warrants : — 

"You, you big constable, quick you catch um, Jeremiah 
Offscow, strong you hold um, safe you bring um afore me. 
— Waban, Justice of the Peace." 

A young justice asked him what he should do when Indians 
got drunk and quarreled. He replied, " tie um all up, and whip 
um plaintiff, whip um 'fendant, and whip um witness." Allen, 
Biog. Dictionary. 

2 This name signifies the " fishing place of the boundary," 
and was given to the large pond in the vicinity, which was 
the boundary between the lands of the Narragansetts and 
the Nipmucks. 

3 Gookin says, (1674,) of Chaubunagungamaug, "in this place 
dwells Black James, who about a year ago was constituted 


In the latter deed was a reservation to the amount 
of five miles square, for the exclusive use of this branch 
of the tribe, which might be chosen in two localities. 
The first was on the Quinebaug river at Maanexit, three 
or four miles southerly of Chaubunagungamaug, and 
the other, four or five miles southeasterly of Maanexit, 
in the present town of Thompson, i Most of the 
first named reservation was sold subsequently to 
Dudley or his heirs, and a part, at least, incorporated 
in the town which now bears his name. 2 

Associated with Stoughton and Dudley in public 
matters, and especially in efforts of a philanthropic 
nature, was another man of marked ability, and of 
great influence, not only here but in England — 
Robert Thompson, merchant, of London. This 
noble man became warmly interested in the success 

constable of all the praying towns. He is a person that hath 
approved himself diligent and courageous, faithful and zealous 
to suppress sin." — A sale of land in the Quinebaug valley, 
Conn., was made by one " Hyems " or James, to the English, 
in 1653, and a coat was a part of the price paid. — Miss Larned, 

I. s. 

' Mass. Col. Rec, V. 488. 

2 " Five thousand acres at Quinnatisset and a large tract at 
Mayanexet, being a moiety or full half of the whole reservation, 
were immediately conveyed for the sum of ten pounds, to 
Stoughton and Dudley." — Miss Larned, I. 14. 


of the New England colonies as early as 1650, and 
in 1670 was chosen president of the " Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in New England." ' 
He had largely the confidence of the colonial 
authorities, and ably served the public interests 
both here and in England, and as a token of 
esteem a grant of land was made to him, as follows : 

" This Court, being informed by our agents, now in England, 
of the good will & freindship of Major Robert Thompson, of 
London, & his readiness vpon all occasions to be assistants 
to them in the service of this colony, wherein they are, according 
doe, by way of gratuity, give vnto the said Major Thompson 
& his heires, fine hundred acres of land in the Nipmug countrey, 
to be lajd out to him w'th all reasonable convenience." Dated 
May 1 6th, 1683.^ 

After his death the legislature of Connecticut 
granted two thousand acres to his grandson in 
London, as a tribute to his memory.^ 

Stoughton was also a man of wealth and high 

' Hutchinson, I. 324. 

2 Mass. Col. Rec, V. 409. 

3 An old plan in the Oxford records shows, among other lots 
of land in the territory lying southerly of the town and north- 
easterly of Chaubunagungamaug pond, one designated as 
"Thompson's five hundred acres.'' Connecticut's grant was 
located in North Killingly, which place was afterwards chartered 
as a town, and named " Thompson," in honor of the grantee. 

40 Dudley's public services. 

standing, and was in 1694 and 1700, acting governor 
of the province. He was a liberal patron of Harvard 
College, and his memory is perpetuated there in 
the hall which bears his name. 

Dudley was a leading spirit of his time. However 
unfortunate he may have been in the direction 
he gave to his influence, his emineiit talents and 
efficiency in public affairs cannot be questioned. 
For many years his name appears in the records as 
that of a man prominent in the management of Colo 
nial matters, and especially in affairs pertaining to 
the new settlements, where disputes were continually 
arising on both civil and religious matters, his 
services were often called into requisition by the 
authorities. He held numerous high positions 
under the government, and was governor of the 
Province from 1702 to 171 5. Stoughton and Dudley 
were warm friends, and their names often appear 
together in the Colonial records. 

Associated with these gentlemen were Dr. Daniel 
Cox, and John Blackwell, of London, ^ and Thomas 

' John Blackwell was a member of parliament under Crom- 
well, and a treasurer in his army. He was intimate with 
Dudley while in this country, was made a justice of the peace 
by him, and was often his adviser in public affairs. — Miss 
Larned, I. 183. 


Freak, of Hannington, Wiltshire, who were all men 
of influence, and were in sympathy with them in 
the plan of a settlement in Oxford, and intended 
to become themselves settlers in Massachusetts. 

It is safe to afSrm that hardly another colony, of 
the many which were then being projected, had 
such prospects of success, or so able and efficient 
guardians to watch over and aid it in its early 
struggles for existence and growth. It would seem 
that under the fostering care of such patrons, any 
enterprise which they might undertake would be 
sure to prosper. But in this case progress was very 
slow, and influences beyond the control of any set 
of men hindered the initiation of the scheme. Mr. 
Blackwell came over from England, and after re- 
maining here several years, abandoned the idea of 
a permanent settlement in America, and returned. 
Dr. Cox and Mr. Freak gave up their intention of 
coming to this country, probably because of political 
changes which had taken place in Massachusetts, and 
also in England. 

For two years after the date of the grant, no 
progress towards a settlement seems to have been 
made. The scarcity of men who met the demands 
of the grantees as settlers, and of such as had 
sufficient courage, zeal and ability to cope with the 


real difficulties in the way of establishing a colony 
in this frontier region, was doubtless a great obstacle 
in the way of progress. The demand for men in the 
older settlements was great, and especially in those 
which had been destroyed by the war, the proprietors 
were anxious to re-establish and re-build as fast as 
possible. The grant for Woodstock had been made 
November 7th, 1683, and so great were the obstacles, 
that in the spring of 1686, only thirteen men could 
be mustered who were ready to go.^ Confidence in 
the peaceful professions of the natives had nearly 
vanished. The horrors of the recent war were still 
fresh in mind, and those who lived in the safer 
places near the coast were slow to go out and face 
the hardships of a pioneer life in a wilderness 
where roving bands of hostile Indians were scout- 
ing, and the resident tribes had proved themselves 

" Woodstock Rec. 




The grant for Oxford is as follows : — 

"This court hauing information tliat some gentlemen in 
England are desirous to remoove themselues into this colony, 
& (if it may be) to setle themselues vnder the Massachusets ; 
for the incouragement of such persons, & that they may haue 
some from among themselues, according to their motion, to 
assist & direct them in such a designe, this Court doth grant to 
Major Robert Thompson, Willjam Stoughton and Joseph Dud- 
ley, Esq., and such others as they shall associate to them, a 
tract of land, in any free place, conteyning eight miles square, 
for a touneship, they selling in the sajd place w'thin fower 
yeares, thirty familjes, & an able orthodox minister, and doe 
allow to the sajd touneship freedom from country rates for 
fower yeares from the time aboue Ijmitted." Dated May 
1 6th, 1683." 

The survey of this grant was made by John Gore 
of Roxbury, and accepted by the General Court May 
i6th, 1683, and the place was named Oxford, after 
the city of that name in England.^ The plan, a copy 

■ Mass. Col. Rec, V. 408. 

2 This fact does not appear clearly from the record, but receives 


of which is now in the town clerk's office, compre- 
hended forty-one thousand two hundred and fifty- 
acres, or a little less than sixty-five square miles, and 
was two thousand one hundred and fourteen rods, or 
six and two-thirds miles on the easterly side ; three 
thousand three hundred and forty rods, or about ten 
and a half miles on the southerly ; one thousand nine 
hundred and sixty-eight rods, or about six miles on 
the westerly ; and three thousand two hundred and 
sixteen rods, or about ten miles on the northerly. 
The description in the deed of division — hereafter 
described — begins at the southwest corner of Wor- 
cester, which was near the present village of 
Auburn, and from thence the line ran nearly south, 
to the northwest corner of Mr. Dudley's grant of one 
thousand acres before alluded to,i and thence south 
fifteen degrees east, by the west line of said farm to 

confirmation from the memorandum of Judge Sewall, of Boston, 
who in his diary wrote, " I gave New Roxbury the name of 
Woodstock, because of its nearness to Oxford, for the sake of 
Queen Elizabeth and the notable meetings that have been held 
at that place bearing the name in England." [Holmes' Annals, 
11. 240.] These places are about eight miles distant from each 
other, and are places of note in English history. At the 
University in Oxford many of the leading men of the early 
colonial times received their education. 
' See map. 


a point about one and a quarter miles southwesterly 
of the village of West Sutton, and a mile and a half 
west of Manchaug pond, known as "Manchaug Cor- 
ner" — thence west fifteen degrees south, to a point 
a little north of Peter pond in the easterly part of 
Dudley, and thence continuing westerly, crossing the 
Quinebaug river to a point in the vicinity of San- 
dersdale, in the easterly part of Southbridge, thence 
northerly to a point about two miles westerly of 
Charlton city, on the Sturbridge line, thence easterly, 
bearing northerly, to the southwest corner of Wor- 

These lines enclosed, besides the present town of 
Oxford, nearly the whole of Charlton, about one 
fourth of Auburn, one fifth of Dudley, and three or 
four square miles of the northeastern portion of 

Through this tract there ran, due north and south, 
a "way," twenty rods in width, called "the common 
way." The design of this unusual provision can 
only be conjectured, but as it is called on an old 
plan the "proprietors' common way," it probably was 
a reserve for the purpose of access to the several 
allotments of the lands west of the village. We 
find no subsequent allusion to it in the records, and 
later, it is believed, it became a part of the village 


territory, and its western line, the boundary. This 
dividing Une cut off from the main grant eleven 
thousand two hundred and fifty acres of the eastern 
portion, a tract six and two-thirds miles long, and 
two and one-half miles wide, which was given to the 
settlers for a "Village," or "General Plantation." 

The remaining thirty thousand acres was divided 
into five equal parts, the division lines running 
easterly and westerly. These parts were allotted as 
follows : the northernmost to Robert Thompson, the 
second to Daniel Cox, the third to William Stough- 
ton, the fourth to John Blackwell, and the southern- 
most to Joseph Dudley. Mr. Cox's portion is sub- 
divided on the plan between Blackwell, Freak and 
Cox. All the bounds mentioned in this deed were of 
a transient nature — marked trees, a heap of stones, 
or a stake, constituting them all — except one, which 
is permanent, and this was at the northeast corner of 
the natural pond at the present Hodges' village. 
This bound marked the "Village line," as it was 
called. Mr. Blackwell's north line joined the Village 
line at this point, so that the pond was in the north- 
eastern angle of his portion, and is called on the 
plan referred to, " Blackwell's pond." On another 
plan of early date his share is designated as " now 
Papillon's," and on another, later, as " Wolcut's and 


"Williams'." I We have no record of the latter 
gentleman, but Josiah Wolcott, Esq., was prominent 
in the early history of the town, and was a grand- 
son of Peter Papillon. 

Thus it appears that Dudley, who became pos- 
sessed of a considerable amount of landed property 
in this region, Stoughton, and Thompson — who had 
other lands in the vicinity — were the only three 
of the six original proprietors who had a permanent 
interest in the settlement of the place. The last 
two gentlemen seem — from the entire absence of 
their names in the records — to have given to Dudley 
the whole control of their interests, and down to 
the time of the permanent settlement by the Eng- 
lish, he appears as the sole manager. 

The deed of division referred to, is a document of 
much historical interest and value. It was found 
among old papers in London in 1872, and is now 

■ Blackwell, it appears, early disposed of his interest in the 
Oxford scheme and transferred his patronage to a new grant, 
which he obtained for himself and his English friends, January 
28, 1685, located in the valley of the Quinebaug, near the pres- 
ent town of Pomfret, Conn. — Mass. Col. Rec, V. 467. 

Stoughton's share is designated on this later plan as 
"now Brown's." But as his heirs signed the proprietors' 
proclamation in 171 2, in reference to re-settlement, he must have 
retained his interest at the time of his death. 


in the possession of the New York Historical 
Society, i It is dated July 3d, 1688. A point of 
peculiar interest in it, is in the description of Mr. 
Dudley's portion, where it gives his northeajstern 
bound as a "white oak stake, square, driven in the 
meadow, by the river which runs by and from the 
French houses." This bound was about one-third 
of a mile down this stream from where the road to 
Webster now crosses it, and of course due south 
from the northeast corner of the above named pond. 
This is the only record we have touching the 
existence of the houses of the French settlers at 
that time, and it confirms what tradition says of 

■ This deed is on parchment, and is in good condition. It 
is executed in a plain hand, with the prominent words and 
phrases in Old English. Its size is two feet three inches, from 
top to bottom, and two feet five inches in width, and it is closely 
written to the margin. At the bottom is a fold inward of an 
inch and a half, on which are placed at equal intervals five loops 
of parchment, originally bearing seals in wax, now nearly gone. 
The left hand seal bears the name Joseph Dudley, and the 
second William Stoughton, the third and fourth are blank, and 
the fifth has John Blackwell's signature. 

It is witnessed on the back by Samuel Witty, Edward Thomas, 
Daniel Bondet, I. B. Du Tuffeau, and William Blackwell. Du 
Tuffeau's signature is excellent in style, and would do credit 
to a modern business man. This deed is printed in full in 
Amidown's Historical Collections, I. 128. 


their location. Another fact of interest which we 
learn from this document, is the Indian name of 
the beautiful pond referred to, which was '' Augut- 
teback." i ' 

' We cannot claim that this name is as charming as the lake 
which it represents, but as it was the name by which it was 
known by the aborigines, it is desirable that it should be retained. 

Mr. Whitney gives it as "Augootsback," but there is evidence 
that the name in the deed is the one used by the early settlers. 

While on the subject of names we would note that there is an 
obvious impropriety in calling, the river running west of the 
village, the " French river." The tradition alluded to by Dr. 
Holmes, that part of the settlers located near that stream, is 
evidently erroneous, as it was outside the village line, and 
therefore not included in the grant, and if this were not the case 
it is altogether improbable that the small and comparatively 
defenceless body of men who came here, would scatter them- 
selves over so large a territory as they must have done, had 
they settled there. The proper name of this stream is that 
given to it by the natives — " Maanexit." 

The large, round topped hill, lying south-east of the village, 
called Mayo Hill, should be known by the name given to it in 
one of the first records made in the history of Oxford — " Bondet 





At this point it is an interesting inquiry to raise, 
what were the natural characteristics of this locality 
which made it in Dudley's estimation, " capable of 
good settlement ? " 

It is well known that no part of southern central 
Massachusetts can boast of special fertility of soil. 
Its best lands are those of the hills which were 
originally covered with heavy growths of wood. The 
Oxford grant had in its western part, embracing most 
of the present town of Charlton, a large share of hilly 
country.' But its eastern portion, which was set apart 
for a village, was more level and capable of settlement, 
because of its meadows and plains. These plains 
extend about two and a half miles north and south, 

' Mashamoquet or Mashamuckit Hill, near Charlton centre, 
is the most prominent point of land in the southern part of 
Worcester county, and is the highest in the range of hills 
running north and south, constituting the " height of land " 
between Boston and Springfield. 


and embrace some five or six hundred acres, which 
have a warm soil of sandy loam, peculiarly adapted to 
the production of the chief crop of those early times, 
Indian corn. The country was not an unbroken 
forest, but here and there, especially on the plains, 
were open areas on which the Indians raised corn 
and other vegetables, and the Nipmuck region — espe- 
cially its southern part — was early famous as a corn 
growing country. i Gookin said of Manchaug, "it is 
situated in a fertile country for good land," and 
further, he states that he had seen corn-fields in this 
region, yielding forty bushels to the acre. In the 
estimation of the settlers its value was decided by its 
ability to produce readily the means of subsistence ; 
therefore the mellow and tractable soil of the plains 
was preferred to the more rugged land of the hills. 

The natural meadows skirting the streams which 
ran on either side the plains, were considered the 
most valuable of all the lands, on account of the crops 
of hay they yielded. 2 

' Boston News Letter, Miss Larned, I. 2. 

2 Sudbury, Concord, Lancaster, and Brookfield were among 
the earliest inland settlements, and were chosen for their pro- 
ductive meadows. — The artificial pond in the eastern part of 
Oxford, called " Robinson's pond," covers what was one of the 
finest meadows in the vicinity, which has been known from the 


Water power, an indispensible requisite, was here 
in a convenient location, and easily available. 

Wild game, important as a means of living in those 
days, was plentiful in these forests, and fish were 
abundant in the ponds and rivers. We have it on 
good authority that the hills south-easterly of the 
village abounded in deer, and it is a matter of 
record that deer reeves were chosen annually in 
town meetings, in the early history of the town.' 

Another favorable consideration was that this loca- 
tion was comparatively easy of access. The road 

earliest history of the town, as " Mendon meadow," from thefact 
that Mendon people came there yearly to cut hay, before the 
settlement of Oxford. — See Addenda, B. 

As late as the year 1828, it was the custom every spring, at a 
fixed time, to open the waste gates at the mill near the south 
«nd of the plain, and draw the water from the meadows above, 
thai the crops of hay might grow and be harvested. 

' Mr. Stephen Davis, recently deceased, at the age of eighty- 
seven years, said, on the authority of his father, that at the time 
'Of the settlement of his ancestors in the extreme south-east part 
of Oxford, a young man with a dog and gun could go into the 
■woods near by, and bring home a fawn as certainly and almost 
as quickly as a farmer could go to his sheep-fold and prepare a 
lamb for use. 

There were also here wild animals whose existence was not 
altogether desirable. Bears and wolves were not uncommon. 
" The Wabquassets paid to Uncas, Chief of the Mohegans, 


from Boston to Springfield crossed the grant in its 
northern section, and the old roadway to Connecticut 
ran through its southern part, i 

' yearly tribute of white deer-skins, bear-skins and black wolf- 
skins.'"— Miss Lamed, I. 3. 

One condition of a certain treaty between Plymouth colony 
and Philip was that he should deliver to the authorities annually 
five wolves' heads. — Palfrey. 

Mrs. Lee, in her " History of the Huguenots in France and 
America," quoting from the manuscript of Mr. John Mayo, says, 
" I heard Joseph Rockwood who served in the fort, tell of having 
got lost in the woods when out for the cows. He heard at a 
distance the cries of wild beasts, and ascended a tree for safety. 
He was surrounded during the night by half famished, howling 

Tradition gives us the circumstances of the killing of two 
large black bears in the vicinity of "Bug Swamp," in the 
easterly part of the town, some twenty years after the settle- 
ment by the English. 

' Gookin, in 1674, speaking of Hassanamesit, [Grafton,] says ; 
"It is near unto the old roadway to Connecticut." A glance at 
the map shows that the most direct route from Grafton to 
Woodstock is through Oxford, and we have further evidence 
in this direction, in the fact that on a plan, dated 171 1, of land 
of Maj. Fitch, in the northern part of Windham County, the 
" Connecticut path " is laid down as entering Thompson near 
the middle of its northern boundary line, and near to where the 
" Frenchtown river," as it is there called, enters it. The large 
extent of Chaubunagungamaug pond renders this impossible, 

54 THE "bay path. 

The former way, called the " Bay path," had been 
traveled for nearly fifty years, and was the thorough- 
fare between the east and the west, as they then 
existed."! .Dr. Holland says of it : — 

" It was a path marked by trees a portion of the distance, 
and by slight clearings of brush and thicket for the remainder. 
No stream was bridged, no hill graded, and no marsh drained. 
The path led through woods which bore the marks of centuries, 

unless the path came down on its westerly side, and this would 
indicate that its course was through Oxford. 

The fact that this "way" was called in the records the "great 
trail," leads to the belief that it was originally the Indian path. 
The probable reason for its bearing so far to the northward of. 
a straight line, was that the difficulties of crossing the " Medfield 
river,'' might be avoided. There is a record of a petition, very 
early, for a bridge across this river. The following is the action 
of the Court : — 

" Whereas, the way to Kenecticut now used, being very haz- 
ardous to travellers, by reason of one deep river that is passed 
fpwer or five times over, which may be avoided as is conceived, 
by a better and nearer way, it is refferd to Major Pynchon to 
order the said way to be laid out and well marked." — March 
30, 1683, Mass. Col. Rec, V. 391. 

' Distinct remains of the old " Bay road," for a third of a 
mile or more, may be seen now in the "great valley" directly 
west of Charlton Centre. This fact is stated on the authority 
of the late Gen. Salem Towne.) 


over barren hills that had been licked by the Indians' hounds 
of fire, and along the banks of streams that the seine had never 
dragged. * * * It is wonderful what a powerful interest 
was attached to the Bay path. That rough thread of soil, 
chopped by the blades of a hundred streams, was the one way 
left open, through which the sweet tide of sympathy might flow. 
Every rod had been prayed over by friends on the journey 
and friends at home. If every traveler had raised his Ebenezer 
as the morning dawned upon his trusting sleep, the monuments 
would have risen and stood like mile stones. " ' 

Miss Larned says of the " Connecticut path,'' " This rude 
track became the main thoroughfare between the two colonies, 
[Massachusetts and Connecticut.] Hundreds of families toiled 
over it to new homes in the wilderness. The fathers of Hart- 
ford and New Haven, ministers and governors, captains and 
commissioners, government officials and land speculators, 
crossed and re-crossed it." 

The facts in the history of the beginning of the 
sister colonies. New Oxford and New Roxbury, are 
worthy of notice. Dudley had explored the sites of 
both, and we have his opinion as to their promise for 
settlement. The grant for Oxford had been made in 

I This description applies to the " Bay path " as it existed 
very early in the history of the colonies. At the time of the 
settlement of Oxford it might have attained the dignity of a 
wagon road. But Huntington, in his Centennial address at 
Hadley, says that in 1675 the produce of the towns on the 
Connecticut, was still sent down the river on its way to Boston. 

56 Dudley's aid given to each. 

May, 1683, and in November of the same year, 
through the petition of thirty-six of Eliot's parish- 
oners, townsmen of Dudley, the selectmen of Roxbury 
received a grant in the same neighborhood,! with a 
proviso that Thompson and company should have the 
first choice of a location.^ While Mr. Dudley's pecu- 
niary interests were mainly in New Oxford, his interest, 
also, in the sister colony, was shown in the fact that 
in town meeting at Roxbury he was chosen chairman 
of a committee "to draft propositions that may be 
most equal and prudent for the settlement of New 
Roxbury. "3 He was also instrumental in obtaining 
for the New Roxbury settlers a deed of their lands 
from the proprietor, Capt. James Fitch. 4 Evidently 
his valuable knowledge and experience served both 
colonies, and no doubt his advice as to the manage- 
ment of the affairs of each was such as to insure 
mutual sympathy and helpfulness. 

More than two years elapsed after the New Rox- 
bury grant was made, before settlers occupied either 
place, and it is probable that the fact of the settle- 

1 Mass. Col. Rec, V. 422. 

2 Oxford's meadows, and the certainty of its being within 
the bounds of Massachusetts colony, probably decided Stoughton 
and Dudley in its favor. 

3 Roxbury Rec. 4 Miss Lamed, I. 19. 


ment of the two towns in the same year was not 
accidental, and further it would seem not improbable 
that the receipt of the news of the agreement be- 
tween Thompson and Bernon, in London, in the 
spring of 1686, concerning the settlement of Oxford, 
was the signal for the onward movement of the 
pioneers of Woodstock. We know that later, com- 
munication was free and constant between the two 
places. I The Chandlers, father and son, were 
leaders at Woodstock, and the records show that 
in all the region around, they were active in public 
matters, especially in the surveying and dividing 
of lands, and John Chandler, Jr., was in the list of 
the thirty English settlers of Oxford in 1713. ' 

' These places are about ten miles apart. Woodstock 
Hill is plainly visible from the site of the Oxford fort, and it is 
believed that intelligence passed between tliem by means of 
signals, at these points. 

2 John Chandler, Jr., although one of the thirty grantees of 
the Oxford Village, probably never settled here. He took a 
share in the enterprise, it seems, as a speculation ; he, and also 
his father, being extensive operators in land in all the towns 
adjacent to Woodstock. He disposed of his interest here in 
the latter part of 1714. He was chosen colonel of the militia, 
and in public affairs he became the most influential man in this 
region. It was through his instrumentality chiefly, that Wor- 
cester County was established in 1731. At its organization he 


In the course of events it became necessary for the 
people of Oxford to garrison themselves for pro- 
tection against the Indians. Woodstock then fur- 
nished soldiers to assist as guards. ' 

took the post of honor, and was appointed Chief Justice of the 
Court of Common Pleas, and also Judge of Probate. He con- 
tinued to live in Woodstock until his death in 1743. Dea. 
John Chandler, Sen., died in 1703. 

Oxford had the offer of being made the county seat of the 
new county, but declined the honor, on the ground, it is said, 
that the influences of a shire town would endanger the good 
morals of the young people. 

' Humphrey to Holmes. " Memoir of French Protestants 
who settled in Oxford, Mass., 1686," by A. Holmes, D. D. 
— Mass. His. Soc. Col, Vol. II. 3d Series, p. 80. 

This most interesting memoir, the first and only account 
of the Oxford Huguenots heretofore published, is now out of 
print, and very rare outside of the libraries. 



In the spring of 1685, no progress appears to 
have been made towards occupying the Oxford 
grant, and on the petition of the grantees, the 
stipulated time for making the settlement was 
extended three years, i Before the expiration of 
this time the problem was solved, and the requisite 
number of settlers from a people of a strange coun- 
try and language, and a most remarkable history, 
were here as colonists. We cannot enter at length 
into their record before their emigration. It is a 
long, dark and bloody history, a story of conflict 
and intolerance, of suffering and heroic endurance. 
An imperfect outline must suiifice. 

The Reformation in France had its beginning 
among the young men of the University at Paris, 
under the lead of Jacques Lefevre, about the year 

I Mass. Col. Rec, V. 469. 


1493. 1 The work had made considerable progress 
before John Calvin came upon the stage, and when, 
in 1530, he appeared as a champion of the truth, 
large numbers hailed him as a leader, and enlisted 
under his banner. Under him the progress of the 
cause was rapid, and many of the noblest men of 
the nation, including some very near the throne, 
became its adherents.^ In 1550 the balance was 
so nearly poised that it was doubtful whether the 
Huguenots would not gain control of the government. 
Three bloody civil wars ensued in quick succession, 
in which the Protestants suffered great losses. In 
1570 the noble Henry of Navarre, afterward King 
Henry IV., was their principal hope as a political 
protector. In 1572 he married the sister of the 
king, and from all parts of France the leading 
Protestants were invited to Paris to attend the 

' " The father of the French Reformation, or the one more 
than any other entitled to this distinction, is Jacques Lefevre, 
born in Picardy about 1455." — Fisher's Hist. Ref. 277. 

2 " Cohgni greeted him as a leader of the Reformation. 

* * * His system of doctrine and polity * * » gave 
comfort to the Huguenots, shaped the theology of the Palatinate 

* * * controls Scotland to the present hour, founded the 
Puritanism of England, and has been the basis of New England 
character." — Appleton's Cycl. 


nuptial ceremonies. Then occurred the massacre 
of St. Bartholomew, that dark blot in the world's 
history, in which two thousand persons in Paris, 
and twenty thousand in the kingdom, were killed 
in eight days. Terrible as was this blow, its effect 
was only to arouse and bring together more closely 
these people, and under their favorite, Henry, the 
conflict was renewed, and carried on with varied 
results till 1589, when he came to the throne. 
Upon assuming its responsibilities, as a measure of 
policy and conciliation he joined the Catholic church, 
and nine years after, he issued the famous Edict of 
Nantes, which gave religious liberty throughout the 
land. In 1610 Henry died, leaving the Protestants 
politically defenceless. Persecution began again 
soon after his death, and the Edict was practically 
annulled. Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, par- 
ticularly the latter, — until his death in 165 1 — were 
influential in partially restraining the persecutions. 
But on the accession of Louis XIV., in the same 
year, the clouds quickly gathered, and all the ener- 
gies of the government were directed toward the 
extermination of the heretics. By means of bribery 
and dragooning, in which the Protestants suffered 
untold atrocities, many were forced to abjure their 
religion, and in form, the Reformed church was 


almost destroyed before the revocation of the Edict 
in 1685. But when that blow fell, a proof was given 
of the power of the Faith to hold its adherents. 
When the choice came between conformity to the 
State religion and expatriation, hundreds of thou- 
sands accepted the latter, and bade a last farewell 
to their native land.i 

These refugees are said by historians to have 
been among the very best people of France. As men 
of character and moral worth they were eminent. In 
comparison with the Puritans they were as firm 
and well-established in their religious opinions, as 
devout, less bigoted, yet more cultivated and refined. 
They were intelligent in religious matters, pro- 
found Bible students, and also excelled in music, 
having a metrical translation of the Psalms, and the 
hymns of Beza, and of Marot, — who was called the 
French Watts, — set to the sweet harmonies of 
Goudimel, an early French composer. 

As artisans in silks, glass, rich jewelry and pot- 
tery, they have never been excelled, and to this day 

I The number of French refugees who left within a few 
years after the Revocation, has been very differently estimated 
at from two hundred and fifty thousand to eight hundred thous- 
and, but most authors agree in stating it at about five hundred 


the best workers in these materials in London are 
their descendants. 

" Spittlefields and the parts adjoining," says Stowe, "became 
a great harbor for poor Protestant strangers, Walloons and 
French, who, as in former days, so of late, have been found 
to become exiles from their own country for their religion, and 
for avoiding the cruel persecution. Here they found quiet and 
security, and settled themselves in their several trades and 
occupations, weavers, especially ; whereby God's blessing is 
surely not only brought upon the parish, by receiving poor 
strangers, but also a great advantage hath accrued to the whole 
nation, by the rich manufacture of wearing silks, and stuffs, and 
camlets, which art they brought along with them. And this 
benefit also to the neighborhood, that these strangers may 
serve for pattern of thrifty honesty, industry and sobriety." 

Near Leicester Square is a house of worship called "the 
Orange Street Chapel," built in 1684 by subscription, for the 
French Protestants. 

" Within its walls they prayed for the Prince by whom they 
had been forbidden to follow their trades and professions, for- 
bidden Christian burial, and exiled, and whom yet they re- 
spected as the Almighty's scourge." ' 

Smiles, in his History of the Huguenots, says : " They were 
acknowledged to be the best agriculturists, wine-growers, 
merchants and manufacturers in France. No heavier crops 
were grown in France than on the Huguenot farms in Beam, 
and the south-western provinces. The slopes of the Aigoul and 

' Hare. Walks in London, II. 12S. 


the Epernon were covered with their flocks and herds. The 
valley of the Vaunage was celebrated for its richness of vegeta- 
tion, and was called by its inhabitants the "Little Canaan." 
* * * The diligence, skill and labor with which they 
subdued the stubborn soil and made it yield its increase of 
flowers and fruits, and corn and wine, bore witness in all 
quarters to the toil and energy of the men of the Religion." 

Of these refugees, fifty thousand went to London, 
others to Holland, to Brazil and other parts of the 
western continent. They settled in Florida, New 
York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia, 
but more than in any other State, in South Carolina. 
In all these places they assisted in 'laying firmly the 
foundations of our noble institutions, and to use the 
language of a recent writer, " They have contributed 
in proportion to their numbers, a vast share to the 
culture and prosperity of the United States." He 
adds, "they were noted for severe morality, great 
charity, and politeness and elegance of manners." i 

We learn from the records that America was early 
held in high esteem by these people, and that for a 
number of years before the crisis came, their eyes 
were directed to this country as a place of refuge, 
and inquiries were sent as to the prospects for 
emigrants, especially for those who tilled the soil. 2 

' Appleton's Cycl. ^ Holmes, 28. 


The chief agent in their removal hither was 
Gabriel Bernon, a merchant of Rochelle.i who hav- 
ing fled to London after the Revocation, was there 
introduced to Mr. Robert Thompson, by an eminent 
French gentleman then in that city. The result was 
an agreement on the part of Mr. Bernon to make the 
settlement on the Oxford grant, of the thirty French 
Protestant families.2 He did not manage the affairs 
of the colony in person, but employed as his agent, 
Isaac Bertrand Du Tuffeau, to whom, on his arrival 
in this country, as a matter of encouragement, was 
given as the representative and co-partner of Mr. 
Bernon, a tract of seven hundred and fifty acres 
of land in New Oxford. Subsequently, at the 
solicitation of Du Tuffeau, Mr. Bernon came to 
Boston, when a further grant was made to him in 
his own right, of seventeen hundred and fifty acres, 
making twenty-five hundred acres in all, the whole 
lying within the village plat, and embracing more 
than one-fifth of its whole extent. 3 

' La Rochelle was for many years the stronghold of the 
Protestants in France. It is situated on the sea coast, and is 
the port of a fertile region which produces largely, grain, wine, 
cattle and horses. Most of the company which came to Oxford 
are believed to have been natives of this place or its vicinity. 
2 Holmes, 69. 3 Ibid. 




The history of this enterprise, from the time when 
the emigrants left France to the breaking up and 
extinction of the settlement, is difficult to trace, for 
want of documentary evidence. Diligent search 
among the records of England and this country, has 
failed to bring to light much which is satisfactory as 
to its detail. The few facts we have, are drawn from 
isolated papers, letters, petitions and documents of 
various purport, gathered from many different sources, 
which give us only glimpses, from time to time, of the 
progress of events in the settlement. The " books, 
papers, and acts of the village," which M. Bondet, 
their minister, is charged with having taken away 
when he left, although they have been diligently 
sought for, have never been recovered. Tradition 
gives us but few facts. Enough, however, of the 
enterprise is known to throw around the subject a 
romantic interest, which is rare in New England 


Dr. Snow, in his history of Boston, says that 
during the summer of 1686 a number of vessels 
having on board French refugees, arrived at that 
port. Among these are believed to have been many 
of the company who afterward came to New Ox- 
ford, i As the requisite number of emigrants did 
not occupy the grant at the beginning, 2 we infer 
that the company was not organized until their 
arrival in Boston, although as Bernon certifies that 
he "paid the passage for over forty persons to 
America," ^ it is probable that a part, at least, left 
Europe with direct reference to the settlement here. 

The colony was founded in 1686.4 Arrived on 

' It is extremely probable that some of the first men in New 
England aided these proscribed Rochellese in their emigration. 
^Holmes, 29. 

2 See letter Fr. Prot. Refugee in Boston, 1687, page 72. 

3 Letter to Gov. Shute. Holmes, 69. 

4 It has been claimed by some that the settlement was made 
in the spring of 1687, but we see no reason for doubting the 
statement of Whitney and of Holmes that it was in 1686. Bondet, 
in his letter to Cornbury, 1702, says that he had then been in 
America about fifteen years. This is indefinite. When he par- 
ticularizes and says he was nine years in Oxford, two years waiting 
in Boston, and five years in New Rochelle, we have sixteen 
years, which gives 1686 as the time of settlement. The fact that 
collections in behalf of the French refugees in Boston were 

68 "bondet hill" — the "great house." 

the location of the proposed settlement, they fixed 
upon the eminence a mile and a half south-east of 
the present centre of the village, as their head- 
quarters. At this point, for many years afterward, 
the highway from Boston entered the town. At a 
short distance to the south-east from this spot, upon 
higher ground, overlooking all this region, was the 
site of the large fort. The large round-top hill 
lying just below the fort, is called in the records 
" Bondet hill."_ From this we conclude it was 
owned by him while living here. On its eastern 
slope, just at the entrance of the Boston road, stood 
what is called in the records the "Great House." 
This is believed to have been Bondet's residence. 

Of their church building no relic or mark remains, 
but its location is fixed with certainty by tradition. 

taken up in Salem and other places in the fall of 1686, proves 
nothing on this point, as there were those who remained per- 
manently in Boston, (see letter Fr. Ref., page 72,) and others 
went to colonize other parts of our country. — Snow. 

These people were in straitened circumstances and could not 
consult convenience, and considering that the Woodstock settle- 
ment had been begun, it seems more probable that the pioneers, 
at least, went at once to their destination, than that they 
remained in Boston, living on charity through the autumn and 
winter of 1686-7. 


Within the memory of persons now living, there 
were to be seen large stones, said to have been part of 
the foundation of the building, upon the first rise of 
ground on the left, after crossing the stream, on the 
road from the village to the fort, about sixty rods 
south-easterly of the Humphrey homestead.' Near 
the church, easterly from it, was their burying ground, 
and a small fort or palisade was built in the imme- 
diate vicinity, for protection in case of an attack in 
time of religious service. ~ 

Among the first things to be provided, were mills 
to furnish lumber, and for grinding grain. These 
were located upon the stream east of the "Plain," 
the principal stream within the village bounds ; one 
near the south end of the present Main street, called 
in the records the "old mill place," and the other a 
short distance below what is now Rich's mill, known 
as the upper site. From the little light we get from 

' This homestead was the first residence of Ebenezer Hum- 
phrey, who came from Woodstock to Oxford while the French 
were here, to keep garrison, (see Hohnes, 80.) and is the place 
referred to in a vote in town meeting, Jan. 25, 1714. — See Ad- 
denda E. — It has remained in the family since the settlement in 
1713, and is now owned and occupied by Ebenezer Humphrey, 
of the fourth generation from the first of the name. It is the 
only homestead in the town, which remains in the possession 
of the family of the original owner. 
2 Addenda F. 


the records, we conclude that the first mill built was a 
saw-mill, at the lower site or "old mill place." In 
the Village Proprietors' records the lower site was 
called in 1714, "the old mill," and also "the old mill 
place," which indicates that the first attempt to 
locate a mill was at this place. This was nearly in 
the centre of the population. Later, as it would seem, 
the grist-mill was built, at the upper site. 

The plantations were chosen chiefly upon the 
plains ; and upon their eastern borders, near the 
meadows and running stream, they built their 
houses. These were placed with no regard to order 
ox regularity, but each on a spot best suited to the 
taste of the owner. 

That there was real beauty in the plan on which 
the settlement was built, is readily seen. Above the 
whole, overlooking the valley for miles, was the 
main fort. Just below was Bondet hill, which, in 
its turn looked down on the church and lower fort, 
which stood at its foot. Still lower were the 
meadows, with the picturesque river winding through 
them, and beyond, on the higher banks, scattered up 
and down were the dwellings, and stretching behind 
these were the level plantations, and the receding 
forest hills made up the background. 


Disosway in his " Huguenots in America," says, " Tlie dif- 
ferent parts of the country to which they came were greatly 
benefited by the introduction of their superior modes of 
cultivation of the soil, and of different valuable fruits which 
they brought from France. » » * When Charles II. in 
1680, sent the first band of French Protestants to South 
Carolina, his principal object was to introduce into that colony 
the excellent modes of cultivation which they had followed in 
their own country." 

Lawson — an early traveler in the south — says " Their lands 
presented the aspects of the most cultivated portion of France 
and England." 

From these, and other evidences of their skill in 
cultivation, it is easy to believe that during their 
residence here, these people wrought a great change 
in the aspect of the place, and that by their well 
directed labor, wide and fertile fields, and fruitful 
gardens were made to flourish, where before existed 
only the unprofitable growths of the original forests. 





To trace its progress as far as possible, we now 
take up in order of time, the documents we have 
referring to the colony after its establishment. 

The earliest date is that of a letter of a French 

Protestant refugee in Boston, published by the 

French Protestant Historical Society.i dated Nov. 


[ Translation.'] 

" The Nicmok Country belongs to the President, himself, 
(referring to Bernon, probably,) and the land costs nothing, 
I do not know as yet the precise quantity that is given to each 
family ; some have told me it is from fifty to a hundred acres, 
according to the size of a family. * * * It lies with those 
who wish to take up lands whether to take them in the one or 
the other of the plantations — on the sea-board or in the in- 
terior. The Nicmok plantation is inland, at a distance of 
twenty leagues from Boston, and equally distant from the sea ; 
so that when the settlers wish to send anything to Boston, or 

I Bulletin, XVI. 73. 


to obtain anything from tlience, they are obliged to transport 
it in wagons. In the neighborhood of this settlement there 
are small rivers and ponds abounding in fish, and woods full of 
game. M. Bondet is their minister. The inhabitants as yet 
number only fifty-two persons." 

In this remarkable letter we find mention of some 
of the prominent facts in the early history of this 
enterprise, — that land was furnished free to the 
settlers, and that their support was to come from 
this land by their own skill and hard toil, and 
that no better inducement could be offered them to 
choose a home here, than "woods full of game, and 
ponds and rivers abounding in fish," and "fifty to a 
hundred acres" to a family, chiefly of rude and 
unsubdued forest land, twenty leagues away from 

There was, however, an alternative. As early as 
1685, a band of refugees had gathered at Boston, 
over which Laurent Vandenbosch officiated as pastor, ' 
and it lay with the emigrants to choose to remain 
there or to go to settle the Nipmuck lands. We 
know but little of the sea-board colony, as its 

■ Rev. Charles W. Baird, D. D., sketch of Pierre DailW, in 
Magazine of American History, Vol. I. p. 94. 


distinctive history was early merged in that of the 
growing town of Boston, but it is probable that the 
quantity of land they might occupy there was 
comparatively very small, i But the brave hearts 
and the strong arms which were needed to meet 
the stern realities of the case were not wanting. 
In the second year, in spite of all discouragements, 
fifty-two persons had made a home in the wilds of 
the Nipmuck country, and the pastor, Bondet, was 
with them to counsel and cheer them in their new 
and trying .experiences. 

The allusion to carrying in wagons, is the earliest 
intimation we have of any means of conveyance 
other than by horseback. If a wagon road existed, 
it could have been little more than a broad bay path.2 

' Tradition informs us that the Huguenot settlers in Boston 
made the most of their grounds, and to a considerable extent 
gratified their taste in the cultivation of rare and beautiful fruits 
and flowers. The will of Andrew Johonnot, dated 1759, gave 
to Mrs. Johonnot a part of his estate, comprising rich gardens 
and finely cultivated grounds, filled with the choicest fruits, 
shrubs and flowers, natives of France. 

"A friend, now no more, Daniel Sargent, Esq., told 
me he perfectly recollected fine gardens pointed out to him 
when a boy, as having belonged to the Huguenpts. " — Mrs. 
Lee, II. 68. 

= On a plan dated April i, 1713, in the Massachusetts 


Our second date is that of the deed of Dudley 
and the other proprietors, to Bernon, which is May 
24th, 1688.2 This document, with the deed of 
division which was executed forty days afterward, 
— July 3d, 1688, — we take as evidence that the 
full quota of thirty families was settled on the planta- 
tion in the spring of this year. The stipulated time in 
which this was to be done, had expired in the Janu- 
ary previous. We have no intimation that a request 
for a further extension of time was made, and the 
simple fact of the deed to Bernon being drawn, 
would indicate that he had fulfilled his part of the 
contract. We also find in the deed itself evidence 
in the same direction, as in the consideration, no 
allusion is made to the completion of the contract 
to settle the thirty families, but it simply requires 
that he should build a mill for the use of the in- 
habitants. We find, also, strong confirmation of 
this fact in the doings of the proprietors, in dividing 
their lands, a thing they would not • be likely to do 
while the main condition on which they held their 
grant was uncomplied with. 

Archives, of a grant of land to Jethro CofiSn, located in North- 
bridge, there is laid down, easterly and westerly, a line designated 
as " the French road." — Plans and Grants, I. 240. ^ 
2 For this Deed, see Addenda K. 


Next, in order of time, is the "contract of Mr. 
Church, for the mill for New Oxford." i 

From this it appears that in the third summer of 
the colony's existence the much needed mill was 
erected, although from the date of the latter receipt 
it seems probable that it was not completed until 
the winter of 1689-90. 

From the agreement on Bernon's part to furnish 
boards, we have ample evidence that the saw-mill 
had been built, and furthermore, his agreement to 
make, erect and finish the dam, is proof that the 
projected grist-mill was to occupy a new location, 
which the records indicate was the upper site. 

The next paper is dated July 6th, 1691. This 
document, although bearing upon matters pertaining 
to the Indians, rather than the colony, is interesting 
as introducing Rev. Daniel Bondet, and showing 
something of his spirit and work. He being at that 
time their religious teacher, was exceedingly tried 
by the results of the rum traffic.^ He says : 

" The rome is always sold to them without order and meas- 

1 For this " Agreement," see Addenda L. 

2 M. Bondet was at this time not only pastor of the French 
Congregation, but also missionary to the Nipmuck Indians, 
under the direction of the " Society for the propagation of the 
Gospel in New England." 


ure. * * * The 26th of last month there was about twenti 
Indians so furious by drunkness that they fought lilce bears, 
and fell upon one remes * * # who is appointed for 
preaching the gospel amongst them; he had been so much 
disfigured by his wonds that there is no hope of his recovery. 
If it was your pleasure to signifie to the instrumens of that 
evil, the jalosie of your authoriti and of the publique tranquility, 
you would do great good maintaining the honor of God in a 
Christian habitation, comforting some honest souls wich being 
incompatible with such abominations feel every day the burden 
of afflixon of their honorable peregrination aggravated. Hear 
us pray, and so God be with you and prosper all your just 
undertakins and applications. 

'tis the sincere wish of your most respectuous servant, 


Minister of the gospell in a French congregation at New 
Oxford." ' 

The Selectmen of Woodstock, following Bondet's 
precedent, the next February, sent to the Court a 
similar petition, appealing for relief, — 

"Whereas there are many Indians belonging to To-ke-ka-mo- 
woo-tchong and others who have been resident in this town 
for a long time who are often times very drunken ; to the great 
dishonor of God, the grief of good men, the prejudice of them- 
selves and other Indians who are often beaten and bruised and 
almost brought to death's door, a sad example whereof hath 
been the last week in our town and its evidence enough by the 

I Holmes, 61. — The first part of this paper, including the ad- 
dress, is lost. 


Indian testimony who the persons are of whom they obtain 
their drink; here is none here in authority who may punish 
such offences, which might be a good mean to prevent 
such disorders as we account ourselves in duty bound, do 
inform your Honor and pray that some order be given, as your 
wisdom shall judge meet, that for the future such woful 
practices may be prevented. 
Woodstock, Feb. 22, 1691-2. 

John Chandler,. 
William Bartholomew, 
Benjamin Sabin, 
Edward Morris, 


In 1693, Daniel Allen was chosen representative 
from New Oxford, to the General Court at Boston. 
According to Mr. Whitney, a special act of this body 
was passed, authorizing this action. We do not find 
the record of this act, but Mr. Allen's name appears 
in the list for 1693 as from this place. 2 The list 
for this year numbers sixty-eight. Fifty-nine of these 
were from that portion of the Province east of the 
present Worcester county. In this county, Lancas- 
ter, Mendon and Oxford were represented. From 
west of these places there were only six representa- 
tives, all from the Connecticut valley. 

Mass. Arch. XXXVII. 308. ^ Gen. Court Rec, 278. 


Mr. Allen appears February 6th, 1690, as a wit- 
ness of the deed from Dudley and others, to Bernon, 
but we have no other mention of him in connection 
with the colony. He is recorded as being " of Ox- 
ford," but as the name is not French, we conclude 
that he was an Englishman interested in the place, and 
well acquainted with its wants, and better fitted than 
any Frenchman, with slight acquaintance with the 
English language, to represent it in the legislature. 
The fact that there are in the records other names 
not French, connected with the affairs of the colony, 
— as Johnson, Ingall and Evans — leads to the belief 
that to some extent the English associated with the 
Huguenots in the settlement. 

Down to this time, affairs had, apparently, gone on 
favorably, and the colony had made steady progress 
in wealth and general prosperity. But a reverse was 
at hand, as will be seen from our next paper, which 
sets forth vividly the state of affairs at the time it 
was written. 

The new town, having by the Provincial govern- 
ment been granted the privilege of representation, 
was justly required to submit to taxation. Accord- 
ingly, in 1694, a moderate assessment was made and 
sent, with an order for its collection, to the " Con- 
stable of the French Plantation." 


The following was sent in reply to this order : 

{^Andrew Sigourney to Sir William Phipps, etc-l 

"To His Excellency Sir William Phipps, Kn't. Capt. 
General and Governor in Chief of their Majes- 
ties' Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New 

England, and to the Honorable Council " : 


" The humble petition of Andrew Sigourney, Constable of the 
French Plantation, 

"Humbly sheweth unto Your Excellency and to Your 
Honors, that your petitioner received an order from Mr. James 
Taylor Treasurer for collecting eight pounds six shillings 
in our plantation for Poll money, now whereas the Indians 
have appeared several times this Summer, we were forced to 
garrison ourselves for three months together and several 
families fled, so that all our Summer harvest of hay and corn 
hath gone to ruin by the beasts and cattle which hath brought 
us so low that we have not enough to supply our own necessi- 
ties manj' other families abandoning likewise, so that we have 
none left but Mr. Bondet our minister and the poorest of our 
plantation so that we are incapable of paying said Poll unless 
we dispose of what little we have and quit our plantations. 
Wherefore humbly entreat this Honorable Council to consider 
our miseries and incapacity of paying this poll, and as in duty 
bound we shall ever pray."' 

' Mass. Archives, C. 502. — Payment was not enforced. We 
find an act later, "abating, remitting and forgiving" taxes 
from this place to the amount of thirty-three pounds and six 
shillings. — Province Laws, 1698, p. 341. 


This paper has no date upon its face, but is 
endorsed, " Read Oct. i6, 1694." 

The period from the founding of the colony in 
1686 to the spring of 1690, may appropriately be 
called the planting time. From 1690 to the spring of 
1694 there seems to have been gradual growth, and 
prosperity — this was the season of its flourishing. 
In this petition we have the premonition of the 
coming end. In the declaration "the Indians have 
appeared," is revealed the cause of the decay and 
fihal extinction of the settlement. Its decline began 
with the disasters set forth in this appeal. It would 
seem that the Huguenots had an instinctive dread of 
the natives. The stories of their terrible barbarity 
and cruelty in the late war were doubtless current 
among them, and it needed only to be known that 
Indians were lurking in the vicinity, to send fear and 
trembling through the community. ' 

■ The sensitiveness of the people to the approach of the 
savages was doubtless increased by an incident, the main facts 
of which form the basis of one of the stories which Mrs. L. H. 
Sigourney has given, with much elaboration, in her " Legend 
of Oxford." Two children of M. Alard, whose dwelling stood 
near the old mill site, were in the woods gathering nuts or ber- 
ries, when a company of Indians came upon them, captured 
them, and took them away. It was not until after two or three 
days' search that they were found and returned to their home. 
— Mrs. H. Daniels. 


82 DISASTERS OF 1 694. 

Upon an alarm being given, they forsake their 
homes and plantations and hasten to their stronghold 
for safet3^ and there remain three months ; while the 
wild deer of the forest, and the cattle — which then 
were allowed to range at large — make havoc of their 
promising fields of grain, their fruits and thriving 

The loss of crops in 1694 must have made the win- 
ter following a hard one, and the abandonment of 
their plantations by the best men of the settlement, 
of course had a very disheartening effect on those 
who remained. Another discouraging fact, was, that 
not long after the date of this petition, for causes 
which now cannot be known, M. Bondet, their pastor, 
also left them and returned to Boston. ' 

For a year and ten months after the date of this 
petition the history of the colony is a blank, and we 

I In proof of this, we cite, first — the direct statement of the 
"Inhabitants of Oxford" in their petition to General Court, 
through Laborie, to this effect, [p. 88.] Next, Bondet's state- 
ment to Lord Cornbury, in his letter, 1702, that he had then 
been away from Oxford seven years, [p. 120.] As corrob- 
orative, we have his letter to Mather, dated New York, Jan. 
loth, l6g8, [p. 118,] which proves— it he spent two years in 
Boston after leaving Oxford — that he was there January, 1696, 
which was eight months before the breaking up of the colony. 


have no means of knowing the condition of things 
in this critical period of its existence. The fact, 
however, that Bondet did not return, gives ground 
for the belief that there was little or no improve- 

The next record we have concerning New Oxford 
is that of the Johnson massacre, Aug. 25th, 1696. 
This tragedy decided the fate of the colony. The 
house of Johnson stood apart from the rest of the 
village, southward, on what has been known since 
the time of the massacre as Johnson's plain, about 
a mile and a quarter south of the present Town 
Hall, near the Webster road. Tradition says that 
a small band of Indians of some hostile Western 
tribe, toward the close of the day, stole upon the 
dwelling, and, entering it stealthily, seized three 
young children of the family, and killed them, by 
crushing their heads against the stones of the fire- 
place. With the help of her brother, the mother, 
in her terror — her first thought going toward her 
absent husband — fled southward toward Woodstock, 
whither he had gone on business, hoping, probably, 
to meet him on his return. It is said that in parts 
of the way there were two paths, and that in going 
and coming the husband and wife passed each 
other, she going on to Woodstock, and he coming 


to his home to be met and killed at his own door 
by the murderers of his children, i 

' " It has been conjectured that John Johnson was a French- 
man, whose name had been Anglicised. The impression is 
mistaken. He was a native of Alveton, or Alton, county of 
Stafford, England." — Dr. Baird. 

He married Susan Sigourney, the daughter of the constable. 
After her return to Boston she married, April i8th, 1700, her 
cousin, Daniel Johonnot, born in France. — Sigourney Gene- 
alogy, 8. 

Johnson's hoiise was kept as a tavern, being near the Wood- 
stock "great trail." — ^Mayo's Manuscript. 

Dea. Ebenezer Humphrey is quoted as having said that the 
friendly Indians informed his father that the perpetrators of this 
deed were the Maquas, or Albany Indians. The opinion pre- 
vails that this is an error, and that they were Canadian Indians. 
The fact that they were traced to the vicinity of Worcester, 
immediately after the massacre, strengthens this theory. — 
See letter of Daniel Fitch to Governor Stoughton, August 
31st, 1696. 

The names of these children, — Andrew, Peter, and Mary, — 
are preserved to us by tradition. — Mrs. H. Daniels. 

Two others, Goodman Servin and John Evans, are some- 
tinies mentioned as victims of this massacre. — Olney's Address 
at Dedication of Memorial Hall. 

A rough stone monument was erected by an assembly of the 
people of Oxford, on the site of the Johnson house, Aug. 25th, 
1875, the one hundred and seventy-ninth anniversary of the 
massacre. Dr. O. W. Holmes, in answer to an invitation to 


Reduced and waning as the settlement was at 
this date, it is not surprising that such an attack 
should fill the people with dismay, and bring them 
to an immediate determination to leave, and seek a 
place of safety. Hastily gathering together the few 
valuables they might take with them, in great fear 
lest the attack should be renewed, the whole com- 
pany returned to Boston. 

The story of their leaving is full of touching 
interest, and has been often repeated among the 
dwellers in Oxford in olden times. Tradition says 
that early in the morning of the day of their 
departure — each family having bade adieu to 
its plantation and home — they assembled at the 
church, where they had a season of worship. 
They afterward repaired to the burying ground to 
take leave of the graves of departed friends, and 

be present, wrote : " The occasion you propose to celebrate 
is a very interesting one, in an exceptional kind of way, and 
deserves an orator quite as much as many more widely-lcnown 
events of real history. * * * I should think the day 
might be made interesting and delightful. * * * i 
must content myself with sending my most cordial good 
wishes to my friends of the lovely town which records so 
touching, beautiful, and romantic a story in its annals." 


•then, in a procession, moved onward over the 
rough forest road toward Boston, i 

The scene presented on that August morning, of 
the leave-taking at this sacred spot, was a remark- 
able one. Standing there in imagination, it requires 
but little effort to see, as we look westward across the 
meadows, the lonely houses with their closed doors 
and blank windows. Near at hand stands the rude 
chapel, where, but just now, the farewell prayers and 
songs have been offered up. In the middle fore- 
ground are the graves of the dead, and here and 
there, friends bending tearfully over them. In the 
front is seen a large, newly-made mound, and by it 
stands the central figure of the whole scene. She, 
who but yesterday was the happy wife and mother 
of those who now sleep their last sleep beneath it, 
stands pale and trembling under her weight of grief. 

■ In 1819 Mr. Andrew Sigovirney wrote to Prof. Brazer, of 
Cambridge, that, according to Capt. Ebenezer Humphrey's 
statement, on his farm, as his father told him, there had been a 
fort, and also a French meeting-housei and a burying-ground, 
with a number of graves ; that he had seen the stones that were 
laid on the top of them — as we lay turf — and that one of the 
graves was much larger than any others. — Holmes, 80, 

Captain Humphrey informed Mrs. Stearns DeWitt, that the 
larger grave was that of Johnson and his children. He also 
gave the number of graves, from recollection, as about twenty. 


leaning upon the arm of the father, who, in paternal 
tenderness and sympathy bends over her, and tries 
with words of love to soothe the sorrows of the 
stricken child. By her side stands the faithful 
brother, and a little apart are grouped around the 
friends, whose tearful eyes tell of the common feeling 
of pity and sympathy which fills them all. 

We shall have to look far in New England history 
to find an incident more full of dramatic interest and 
genuine pathos than this. ^ 

" The attack upon New Oxford had its effect upon the 
Woodstock settlement also, and caused some to leave the place 
in alarm ; while those who remained, sought the protection of 
General Court. Thirty-eight days, only, elapsed after the mas-^ 
sacre, before an act of that body was passed, as follows : 

October 2d, 1696. "Upon information given that several of 
the inhabitants of Woodstock have lately removed, and that 
others are about to remove from said town, whereby the 
duty of watching, warding, and scouting will lie too heavily 
upon those that do remain, and endanger the place to be 
exposed, being an out plantation — Ordered, that the said 
town of Woodstock be accounted a frontier, and compre- 
hended within the act of the General Assembly, entitled the 
' Act to prevent the deserting of frontiers,' " etc. — Gen. 
Court Rec, 1696, p. 481. 

Under this act settlers were forbidden to leave, and frontier 
towns were garrisoned and fortified to some extent, and com- 
missioners appointed to consult with military officers in such 
places, with reference to all matters pertaining to their defence. 




But this was not, in fact, the end of the French 
occupation. Tradition informs us that a part, at 
least, of those who left in 1696, returned and 
re-settled the place. That which rested long upon 
tradition only, has now documentary evidence to 
support it. The fe-settlement was probably made 
as early as the Spring of 1699. The first paper we 
have touching this point, is the petition of the 
" Inhabitants of the town of New Oxford," by James 
Laborie, their minister, dated October ist, 1699. 

\J antes Laborie " Tou His Excellencie and tou the Honorable 

My Lord and most Honorable Council : 

" Mr. Bondet, formerly minister of this town, not only satis- 
fied to leave us almost two years before the Indians did commit 
any act of hostility in this place, but carried away all the books 
which had been given for the use of the plantation, with the 
acts and papers of the village, we most humbly supplicate 
your Excellency and the most Honorable Council to oblige 


Mr. Bondet to send back again said boolcs, acts, and papers 
belonging to said plantation. 

"The inhabitants, knowing that all disturbance that hath 
been before in this plantation, have happened only in that some 
people of this plantation did give the Indians drink without 
measure, and that at present there is some continuing to do the 
same, we most humbly supplicate your Excellency, and the Hon- 
orable Council to give Mr. James Laborie, our minister, full 
orders to hinder those disturbances which put us in great danger 
of our lives. The said inhabitants complain also against John 
Ingall, that not only he gives to said Indians drink without 
measure, but buy all the meat they bring, and goes and sell it 
in other villages, and so hinders the inhabitants of putting up 
any provisions against the Winter. We most humbly suppli- 
cate your Excellency and most Honorable Council to forbid 
said John Ingall to sell any rhoom, and to transport any meat 
out of the plantation that he hath bought of the Indians, before 
the said inhabitants be provided.' 

' We have mention of John Ingall in the Council records, 
in February of the same year. 

" His Excellency also acquainted the board that by express 
from New Oxford, he had received a letter from Lieut. Sabin 
of Woodstock," concerning the Indians who had gone eastward, 
as was believed, with the purpose to join others in plotting mis- 
chief. — Council Rec, 94. 

" Advised and consented that his Excellency issue forth his 
warrant to Mr. Treasurer, to pay forty shillings unto John 
Ingall, sent with an express from Oxford bringing the news." 
February 7th, 1699. — Ibid., 95. We infer that Ingall was chief 


" James Laborie in his particular most humbly supplicate your 
Excellency and the most Honorable Council to give him a pecu- 
liar order for to oblige the Indians to observe the Sabbath day, 
many of the said Indians to whom the said Laborie hath often 
exhorted to piety — having declared to submit themselves to said 
Laborie's exhortations if he should bring an order with him 
from your Excellency, or from your honorable Lieutenant 
Governor, Mr. Stauton, or the most Honorable Council. 

" Expecting these favors we shall continue to pray God 
for the preservation of your Excellency, and the most Honora- 
ble Council," etc. James Laborish." 

This petition is endorsed "Lre, written ist Xbr 99 w'th a 
proclama'con for the observance of the .Lord's day inclosed." ' 

We have no record of the doings of the authorities 
upon this petition, but, from the following letter, 
conclude that they required of Laborie a certificate 
from the inhabitants, substantiating the charges 
against Bondet. 

\_Monsieur Laborie to the Earl of Bellomont.l 

"At New Oxford, this 17th June, 1700. 
" My Lord : 

" When I had the honor to write to your Excellency, 

I did not send you the certificate of our inhabitants with 

trader in Oxford, and brought goods from Boston, selling to 
colonists and Indians, and that with the latter, rum was a lead- 
ing article of trade, in exchange for wild meats, furs, etc. 
' Mass. Arch., II. 140. 


reference to Monsieur Bondet, for the reason that they were not 
all here. I have at length procured it, and send it to your 
Excellency. As to our Indians, I feel myself constrained to 
inform your Excellency that the four who came back, notwith- 
standing all the protestations which they made to me upon 
arriving, had no other object in returning than to induce those 
who had been faithful, to depart with them. They have gained 
over the greater number, and to-day they leave for Penikook, 
— twenty-five in all, — men, women, and children. ' I preached 
to them yesterday in their own tongue. From all they say, I 
infer that the priests are vigorously at work, and that they are 
hatching some scheme which they will bring to light so soon as 
they shall find a favorable occasion." - 

{^Earl of Belloniont to the Lords of Trade, London."] 

[July 9, 1700.] 

"Mons. Labourie is a French Minister placed at New Oxford 
by Mr. Stoughton, the Lieut. Gov'r, and myself, at a yearly 
stipend of £30, out of the Corporation money ; there are eight 
or ten French families there that have farms, and he preaches 
to them." * * * 

"The Indians about the town of Woodstock and New Oxford, 
consisting of about 40 families have lately deserted their houses, 

■ Pennacook was a dwelling place of the tribe of that name, 
at the present site of Concord, New Hampshire. 

2 The priests here referred to, were the Jesuits of Canada. 
They were doubtless jealous of the influence of the French 
Protestants upon the natives in this vicinity, and were doing all 
in their power to draw them away to themselves. 


and corn, and are gone to live with the Penicook indians, which 
has much allarmed the English thereabouts, and some of the 
English have forsaken their houses and farms and removed to 
towns for better security. That the Jesuits have seduced these 
40 families is plain. * * » Mr. Sabin is so terrified at the 
indians of Woodstock and New Oxford quitting their houses 
and corn, that he has thought fit to forsake his dwelling and is 
gone to live in a town. All the thinking people here believe 
the Eastern Indians will break out against the English in a little 
time." ' 

A list of " such as receive salary for preaching to the In- 
dians," has " Mons. James Laborie, at Oxford, ;^3o. 00. 00." = 

Another record touching the re-settlement, is the 
petition of the French Protestants in Boston, asking 
aid for their church, dated June 29th, 1700, and 
signed by Peter Chardon and Ren^ Grignon, " elders 
of the French Congregation." A part of this peti- 
tion is as follows : — 

" Considering also that your, humble petitioners have borne 
great charges in paying taxes for the poor of the country, and 
in maintaining their own poor of this town, and those of New 
Oxford, who by the occasion of the war withdrew themselves, 
and since that they have assisted many who returned ■ to 
Oxford, in order to their re-settlement." 3 

The next paper touching this point, is the letter of 

' Doc. His. State N. Y., IV. 684. 

2 Ibid., 755. — For incidents of Indian history, see Add. N. 

3 Mass. Arch., 11, 150. 


Governor Dudley to Bernon, in reply to his petition 
for aid in the protection of his property against the 
Indians, dated July 7th, 1 702, which is as follows : — 

" Herewith you have a commission for Captain of New 
Oxford. I desire you forthwith to repair thither and show your 
said commission, and take care that the people be armed, and 
take them in your own house with a palisade, for the security 
of the inhabitants ; and if they are at such a distance in your 
village that there should be need of another place to draw 
them together in case of danger, consider of another proper 
house, and write me, and you shall have order therein. 

" I am your humble servant, 

"J. Dudley." 

From the request for the return of the "books, 
papers and acts of the village," in the foregoing 
petition, we infer that the first colony was a body 
politic, transacting , business in a public capacity, 
having officers, and enacting rules for the government 
of its affairs, and also that the pastor of the church 
was public clerk, and the custodian of the records, i 

We learn also, that drunken Indians at this time, 
as well as eight years before, were the terror of the 
Huguenots, and this appeal for relief, under the 

' A general law of the province authorized small towns to 
govern themselves until they became large enough to come 
under the provincial laws. 


declaration that all their disturbances were due to 
the sale of rum, evidently came from an honest 
conviction that there was no quiet or safety for them 
until it could be abolished. 

Further, we learn that the forest was an important 
source of supply of food to the people, through the 
Indian hunters and the local trader. 

Lawson, before referred to, says of the Huguenots, 
as he saw them in Carolina, " they live like a tribe, 
like one family ; and each one rejoices at the eleva- 
tion of his brethren." i In the petition of the 
French elders, we have revealed the same admirable 
trait of character. They possessed as a class, a- 
spirit of large-hearted benevolence and charity. 
The secret of their genuine nobleness lay in the fact 
that their religion was not mere sentiment, but a 
living principle which controlled their lives. 

From this paper we gather further, that the 
second colony was made up of those who belonged 
to the first, also. 

The last document, the letter of Gov. Dudley, is 
proof that there was serious trouble in 1702. The 
Indians were again menacing the place, and the 
writer evidently felt that there was need of some one 
here having military authority, that the people might 

' Disosway, Huguenots in America. 


be SO directed that they might be able to defend 
themselves and their property. The requisite 
authority was given, in a manner indicating that 
serious fears were felt that another breaking up was 

That this alarm was felt, also, in the Woodstock 
colony, is shown by the fact that Lieut. Sabin, of that 
place, reported to the Massachusetts Council, April 
9th, 1702, that the Indians were plotting mischief, 
and that he had ordered a garrison to be put in repair, 
and a military watch kept. The Council approved 
his doings, and cautioned him that while he kept 
watch he should do nothing to provoke the Indians, 
or cause them to think harm was intended to them, i 

Another date in the Council Records enables us 
to trace the second colony to the summer of 1703. 
Soldiers were here for its protection from the savages 
who still hovered around. 

" An accompt of wages and subsistence of thirteen soldiers, 
whereof one a sergeant, posted at Oxford and Hassanamisco 
in the summer past, was laid before the board and there 
examined and stated the whole sum, with other incidental 
charges amounting to forty pounds, fifteen shillings, three and 
a half pence.'' 

"Ordered paid Dec. 24th, 1703." => 

I Council Rec, 500. ^ Ibid, 509. 


There is evidence that Bernon had business trans- 
actions with people living in New Oxford, in 1704. ' 

The same year Laborie was called to New York 
as pastor of the French Reformed Church in that 

' Of the further history of the colony we have no 
record. The combined efforts of the government 
and the proprietors failed to sustain its waning 
interests. The final abandonment certainly ensued 
soon thereafter, for in 171 3, in the deed of the pro- 
prietors to the thirty English settlers they declare, 

" Forasmuch as the said French families liave many years 
since wholly left and deserted their settlements in the said 
village, and the said lands as well by their deserting the same, 
and refusing to return upon publick Proclamations made to 
that end as by the voluntary surrender of the most of them, 
are now reinvested in and restored to * * * the original 

They therefore gave, granted and confirmed them 
to the English settlers. 2 

' Bernon Papers. — Dr. Baird. 

2 About ten families only of the Huguenot settlers of Oxford 
can now be traced, — Sigourney, Maillet, Grignon, Baudouin 
and Faneuil to Boston ; Bondet, Martin and Du TufEeau to 
New Rochelle, and Dispeux to Rhode Island. — Dr. Baird. 




Between 1704 and 1712, the date of the procla- 
mation of the proprietors calling for new settlers, we 
have two important letters, i From these we learn 
that Dudley and Bernon were each alive to the 
preservation of their interests in the deserted plan- 
tation. The latter being aware of the necessity of 
holding possession, sent here, as agents or tenants, 
one Cooper, and a "negro Tom," to occupy the 
premises, and to carry on some of the simpler farm- 
ing operations. These men managed badly in 
Dudley's estimation, and were guilty of wanton 
disregard of his rights, as appears in the following 
letter :— 

[y. Dudley to G. Bernon.'] 

Boston, 20th May, 1707. 

" Sr : I am very unhappy in my affayres at Oxford, both 
with your Cooper & the negro Tom. I must desire you to 

I Bernon Papers. — Dr. Baird. 


take other care of your affayres than to improve such ill men 

that disquiet the place, that I have more trouble with them 

than with seven other towns. If you do not remove them 

yourself, I shall be obliged to send for the Negro & turn him 

out of the place, & I understand Cooper is so criminal that the 

law will dispose of him. I pray you to use your own there 

not to Destroy or Disturb the Governour or your best friend, 

who is, Sr., your humble servt., 

"J. Dudley. 

" Send an honest man and he shall be welcome. I pray you 
to show what I write to Mr. Grignon." 

" To Mr. Gabriel Bernon, Newport, Road Hand." 

From the transactions which followed, we infer 
that soon after the date of this letter, Bernon came 
to Oxford. The result of this visit was an engage- 
ment with new tenants, which might be less objec- 
tionable to Dudley. His agreement with them was 
written on the back of the foregoing letter, which 
fact fixes its date as subsequent to May, 1 707.1 

We hear nothing more of Oliver and Nathanael 
CoUer as Bernon's tenants.^ 

They could not have remained as such more than 
one or two years, as will be seen by the letter which 
follows. Bernon now complains against Dudley's 

' For this agreement, see Addenda O. 

2 Oliver CoUer was one of the thirty English settlers. 


agent, Hagburn, and charges him with serious inter- 
ference with his interests.! 

[G. Bernon to Gov. Dudley.'\ 

Providence, ist March, 1710. 

" Mr. Dudley your son told me the last time I had the honour 
to see him, that it was your Excellency's design to re-establish 
New Oxford : as it also appears through the public news. 

" I hope your Excellency will be so good as to take into con- 
sideration the fact that Mr. Hoogborn has done his utmost to 
ruin my interest in the said Oxford. 

" He has caused Couper to abandon the old mill, and Thomas 
Allerton [to leave] my other house, threatening that he would 
hinder them from haying, and [declaring] that I had no power 
to settle them. When I made complaint of this to him he told 
me that he would drive me from the place, myself. Thus it is 

' Samuel Hagburn was one of the thirty English settlers, and 
was the first named in the deed of Dudley, etc., to them. In 
1726 an entry was made of an extract from his will, on the rec- 
ords of the Congregational Church, by which, although not a 
member of it, he bequeathed to it the sum of fifty pounds. For 
a period of one hundred and ten years his name was as familiar 
as household words, in the church, in connection with this gift. 
In 1836 it was voted to apply it toward the expense of building 
a church chapel. This building was afterward sold, and the pro- 
ceeds applied towards the finishing of the lecture-room as it now 
is, in the basement of the meeting-house, and no more is heard 
of the " Hagburn Fund." 


that I have been treated, after spending at the said Oxford 
more than fifteen hundred pistoles [and] the better part of my 
time during more than twenty years possession.' 

" Should it please your Excellency to examine the case you 
will find that I have chiefly had at heart the furtherance of 
your Excellency's wishes. I have been found singularly 
attached to your person, more than to all else that I have had 
in the world. 

" It is notorious that the said Mr. Hoogborn your brother, 
has caused the planks of my granary to be torn up ; that he 
has conveyed them elsewhere, and that by his orders the oxen 
that I was reserving to be fattened, have been put to work." 

From this document we learn that notwithstanding 
Dudley's censure of Cooper, he remained in the 
place, and had lately been in possession of the farm 
called the " Old Mill," and that he, as well as the 
Collers, had been induced to leave it by Hagburn, 
acting probably under instructions from Dudley, 
whose aim evidently was to prevent Bernon's hold- 
ing by possession, a property so important to the 
prosperity of the town. This farm had, no doubt, 
been granted to him as builder and owner of the 

' In several instances in his papers we find Bernon laying 
stress upon the fact of his possession, from which it is evident 
that he was relying upon it to establish his proprietorship in 
the lands which he occupied, which were not conveyed to him 
by deed. 


mill, on conditions of which we have no knowledge. 
But Hagburn, we find, was now in possession. The 
positive manner of his treatment of Bernon's tenants, 
his ordering affairs concerning the granary and oxen, 
his declaration that Bernon had no power to settle 
these men, and his threat that he would drive him 
from the place, show clearly his intention. 

Bernon seems to have been wanting either in the 
courage or the tact requisite to contend success- 
fully with this opposition. With what grace he 
yielded, appears from his reply to Dudley, who, in 
answering the above letter, had intimated that there 
was a prospect of disposing of a part of the Oxford 

[G. Bernon to Gov. Dudley. '\ 

"Providence, 19 Apr. 1710. 
" Your Excellency, always benevolently disposed, informs me 
that you purpose to obtain for me a good price for one-half of 
that which I own in the village of Oxford. I wish to defer 
entirely to your counsel. Accordingly I will proceed to Boston 
as soon as possible to pay my respects to your Excellency. " ' 

These expectations were never realized. 
In 17 1 5, two years after the settlement by the 
English, he gave the stones and irons of the grist- 

" Bernon Papers. — Dr. Baird. 


mill to Daniel Elliot, one of the settlers, on condition 
that he should build a mill in a specified time.' 

[Gov. Dudley to G. Bernon.'] 

"RoxBURY, Apr. 6th, 171 5. 
" Sir : 

" We are now in a way to thrive at Oxford, and I par- 
ticularly thank you for what you have done toward a grist-mill 
in the village, by giving the mill stones to Daniel Elliot, condi- 
tionally that the mill should be built to serve the town within a 
prefixed time, which is now past and nothing done. I desire 
you to write to him to go forward immediately, so as to finish 
the mill presently to the satisfaction of the Inhabitants, or that 
you will order the said mill and irons to be given to such other 
person as will go forward in the work, that they may not be 
starved the next winter. 

" I pray you take efEectual order in the matter. 
" I am your humble servant, J. Dudley. 

" To Mr. Gabriel Bernon, Narragansett." 

In his reply, Bernon says he has "ordered Daniel 
Elliot to finish the crist-mill at Oxford or to let the 
town have the two mill stown, to set the mill in a 
convenient place," adding significantly — pathetically, 
almost — "it will be a great blessing to strive [thrive] 
after so much distorbance."^ 

' Addenda D. 

» Holmes, 66. The mill having been built twenty-five, years, 


In October, 1720, the following letter was written : 

' [G. Bernon to the Son of Gov. Dudley. '\ 

" I would entreat you to assist me in petitioning his Excel- 
lency and the General Assembly, inasmuch as the inhabitants of 
New Oxford oppose my rights to lands. 

" The Court and Government can confirm my title, and then 
I can dispose of what I have there, and pay my debts and have 
wherewithal to help myself; and thereby ease my mind and 
body — which is now more than the Pope can do. 

" The above said inhabitants oppress me, as I can make it 

had at this time become unserviceable from disuse and decay. 

The clause referring to its being set in another place, indicates 
that its location was not convenient. The " convenient place '' 
was at the lower site, where it was afterwards built. That 
there was a grist-mill at that place in the early history of the 
town, is proved by tradition. — Mrs. H. Daniels, on the authority 
of her father, born near the spot. 

Mr. Larned Davis, who lived to old age near the upper mill 
site, and who died in 1869, said : " I have an impression that 
the grist-mill was removed from the upper to the lower site." 

January 15th, 171 5, Ebenezer and James Elliot were voted 
into the right of their father, Daniel Elliot. This was the "old 
mill right," — " said lot being where the saw-mill is." [Town 
Rec] This was three months before Bernon gave the stones 
and irons to Elliot, and ordered him to go on and build a mill. 
The upper mill was on land claimed by Bernon. There is not 
the least probability that the town would grant rights there. We 
take this as evidence that the saw-mill was at the lower site. 


appear by Maj. Buor, who would have bought my plantation. 
The inhabitants told him not to do it ; — that my title was 
nothing worth, that they also pretended that they would dispute 
my title with Mr. Dudley and Mr. Thompson. They also 
abused me in a very outrageous manner in Maj. Buor's pres- 
ence ; as he states in his certificate, which I make bold to send 
to you enclosed in this. 

"Ephraim Town, John Elliot, and John Chamberlin, for 
whom I have advanced considerably to uphold my said planta- 
tion, will not pay me what they owe me. Besides, the loss of 
my servant, who was drowned, was fifty pounds loss to me. ' 
These men, and one Josiah Owen, my last tenant, hugger-mug- 
ger together to cheat me of a hundred pounds in cattle and 
movables that I had upon the place, so that I am not able to 
advance any more. 

" I see myself about ruined by this oppression and malice. 
Sir — you are perfectly acquainted with the affairs at New 
Oxford, and I do not understand things as well as I would. 
Therefore I intreat of you, Sir, to help me. Your charity and 
generosity are (so to speak) interested in it. 

" I am so hard driven by my dunning creditors — the masons 
and carpenters and others that I employed to build my house 
in Providence, that I know not what to do : and, besides my 
wife now lying in, six or seven children implore my compas- 
sion, which makes me implore that of Government, and yours, 
Sir, that my title may be confirmed, after a possession of 36 
years, so that I may sell it. Within 30 years I have laid out on 
it ^200, for which reason my family did slight me, as well as 

' This is the first record we have of a slave in Oxford. 
Was this the negro Tom ? 


my best friends. I have always been protected by Mr. Dudley 
your honored father, who always thought as I did, that I might 
sell it, and not be in any wise molested. But I don't know 
whether it won't be a mistake. Indeed, one cannot always 
foresee the events of things, often hid from the wisest. But 
this I see, — the Evil one still reigns, and God suffers it, to try 
his children. 

" My great desire is to keep myself in the fear of God, and 
to love my neighbor, and to seek lawful means to maintain my 
family. My great age of nearly eighty years does not dispense 
me of this duty. I address myself to you with all humihty to 
assist me, that I may be assisted by the Governor. Such a 
testimony of your love and favor will rescue me, to terminate 
my days in America, or to return once again to Europe. 
Surely my staying or going depends upon the action of the 
Assembly. But be it as it will, Sir, as an honest, well-minded 
man ought, I pray for the Government, and all the faithful in 

"Gabriel Bernon. 
" From my chambers at Mr. Harper's, 

" adjoining unto Judge Sewall's, Oct. 1720." ' 

From this letter it is' evident that at its date he 
was still retaining possession of improved property 
here — ^probably the fort and surrounding lands, — upon 
which he had employed men, to " uphold " it. Town 
was one of the thirty English settlers, and there 

' Bernon Papers. — Dr. Baird. 


were five families named Chamberlin and two named 
Elliot among them. 

In November, 1720, ,he made his application to 
Gov. Shute for reimbursement of money spent upon 
the colony. This petition is printed in the "History 
of the Narragansett Church," and also in substance 
in Holmes' Memoir. In it he says he came to Boston 
" allured " by his agent, Du Tuffeau, who wrote him 
exciting letters ; that 

"on his arrival he was granted an additional seventeen hundred 
and fifty acres of land, making twenty-five hundred acres in 
jU^ # * * » foi- jnoj-e authentic security his » * * 
Excellency and Honor was pleased to accompany [him] to 
Oxford and to put [him] in possession of said land, * * * 
[and he] spent above two thousand pounds to defend the same 
from the Indians who at divers times have ruined the planta- 
tion, and have murdered men, women and children. [That he 
had] built a corn miln, [from the French, mouUti] a wash leather 
miln and a saw miln, and laid out some other considerable 
expenses to improve the town of New Oxford." 

This petition was accompanied by certificates 
signed by some of the prominent men of Boston, 
and also by some of the former residents in Oxford, 
attesting the correctness of its statements. 

We have no record of the result of this applica- 


The peculiar conditions under which Bernon held 
his property in Oxford made his claim liable to 
dispute, and, perhaps, with an honest belief that he 
had no legal rights, "unlicensed settlers began to 
occupy and claim his forest lands," thus causing him 
much annoyance. I But as a town, Oxford never 
questioned his right to the original grant. Among 
the first matters which came before their public 
meetings, was that of the settlement of the lines 
between his property and the Village. In Sept., 
1714, it was voted that "the committy shall take 
care to notify Mr. Gabriel Bernon to come and 
join us in settling division lines between us and 
him."" 2 Again in Oct., 1718, a similar vote was 
taken. ^ 

But there was a good reason why this matter was 
not attended to by Bernon. The complicated nature 
of the case is shown in his deed from Dudley and 
company. Du Tuffeau, at the beginning of the set- 
tlement had "elected" seven hundred and fifty acres, 
which were deeded to him and Bernon jointly. 
Afterward, to Bernon, seventeen hundred and fifty 
acres were granted, which were deeded to him in his 
own right, and also to Bondet were deeded two 

I Allen's Mem. ^ Prop. Rec. 3. 3 Ibid, 27. — Addenda J. 


hundred acres. ' These grants were all embraced in 
one plat and conveyed as a whole. We inti- 
mation of a mutual division, and without this, no 
power but a court could give to either of the 
grantees an indisputable right to a single acre which 
should be set off and located. 

Another point which is shown in the deed, added 
to the complications, namely ; that a very valuable 
portion of the land .taken up and occupied by Du 
Tuffeau and Bernon, jointly, was not included in the 
conveyance. This was a long triangular tract of 
nearly five hundred acres, lying between Bernon's 
land, as deeded, and the land of the village propri- 
etors. Its westerly line ran over the high land 
between the site of the fort and Bondet hill, and 
continuing in a course north, thirteen degrees east, 
crossed the present Sutton road at the fork, about 
threeyfourths of a mile easterly of Main street. This 
line is called in the town records, " Bernon's line,"^ 
and has been marked on the western boundary of the 
estate now known as the Ebenezer Rich farm, by 
permanent division fences to the present day. 

' We have no proof that Bondet ever had possession of this 
grant or received any benefit from it. 
2 Addenda F and G. 


On this tract were the fort and the grounds around 
it, where Bernon had expended considerable money, 
and the upper mill site. It also enclosed some of the 
best farming lands within the limits of the town. Of 
course Bernon was anxious to retain it, but he could 
plead possession only, as ground of ownership. In 
conveying his property he followed the deed he had 
received from Dudley and company, and did not 
include the disputed tract. ' 

Du Tuffeau having died before the autumn of 
1720, Bernon applied to the probate court of Suffolk 
county for a letter of administration on his estate, as 
chief creditor. 2 This was granted Dec. sth, 3 and 
he was enabled in due course of law thereby to take 
possession of the twenty-five hundred acres as sole 
owner. Negotiations with Thomas Mayo, Samuel 
Davis and William Weld, all of Roxbury, soon 
followed, and a sale of the tract was made to them 

' There is among the Bernon papers a plan of his Oxford 
property. In it the boundary at the southern part of the west 
line as deeded, is indicated by a dotted line. Westward of this, 
running obliquely, so as to enclose the disputed triangular tract 
is z /uUline, purporting to run N. 13° E., but which is plainly 
wrong in drawing. Here we have additional evidence that he 
claimed the land as originally taken up by Du Tuffeau. 

2 Bernon Papers. — Dr. Baird. 3 Suffolk Prob. Rec. 


early in the Spring of 1721, for twelve hundred 
pounds, current money of New England. ^ 

On March 27th, 1721, at a meeting of the Village 
proprietors to hear what the " Gentlemen which 
signifie that they have bought Mr. Bernon's farm 
have to be communicated to the inhabitants and 
proprietors of Oxford village," and to " act as shall 
be thought best to come at their own rights : " — 

' The quantity of land sold was twenty-five hundred acres, 
and the description in the deed is as follows : "Beginning at a 
walnut tree marked S. D., standing at the south west corner of 
Manchaug, and thence running west, fifteen degrees south, 
three hundred and fifty-two perches, from thence to be set off by 
a line to be drawn parallel to the utmost easterly line bounds of 
the said Oxford village and township, as far as will complete the 
full quantity of twenty-eight hundred and seventy-two acres." 

Of this were reserved one hundred and seventy-two acres of 
meadow in one piece, which Dudley gave to the village. But 
the two hundred acres for Bondet's farm are not mentioned. 
A provision in it required the annual payment of forty shillings 
quit-rent to Dudley, etc. This deed was dated March i6th, 
1 720-1, and is recorded in Suf. Co. Rec. XXXV. 119. 

It is said that Weld, coming to see the premises in the spring 
after the snow had gone, was dissatisfied, and soon after sold 
his share to Davis. 

" Thomas Mayo never came to Oxford, but his son John 
did, and Samuel Davis came in 1728 or 9, probably the latter." — 
Letter of Hon. George L. Davis, of North Andover. 


"Voted and chose Dea. John Town, Benoni 
Twichel, and Isaac Lamed" to act as a committee 
to establish the line between the said farm and the 
village, and instructed them to " improve " John 
Chandler, Esq., as surveyor. 

The report of this committee, dated Apr. nth, 
172 1, was accepted at a meeting of the proprietors, 
Sept. 2 1st, 1 72 1. 1 In accordance with its terms, a 
portion of land at the north end of the Bernon 
tract was released to the Village, and the triangular 
plat which had been in dispute was yielded to the 

John Mayo, son of Thomas, made a home on the 
height near the fort, and died there, and his descend- 
ants continued to occupy the premises until within 
about twenty-five years. Davis chose for his dwell- 
ing, a spot nearly half a mile northerly from the fort, 
on the farm now known as the Nathaniel Davis 
place, where he died, and his descendants have had 
possession to the present time. 3 

The facts in connection with the delivery of the 

' Prop. Rec. — Addenda I. 

2 See dotted line on the map. 

3 Persons now living in Oxford well recollect the leaden sash 
and the small diamond panes of glass of the old windows of this 
house, which many years ago gave place to more modern ones. 


deed to Bernon are remarkable. It will be remem- 
bered that it was drawn May 24th, 1688, probably 
upon the completion of the contract to settle the 
thirty families. There was in it, however, a consid- 
eration which had not been rendered, namely, the 
building of a grist mill, for which reason it was not 
at once delivered. A little less than two years 
passed, the mill was built, and Bernon had Church's 
receipt for the same. Two days after the date of 
this receipt, we find two of the grantors acknowledg- 
ing the deed before a magistrate — but still it was 
not delivered. Years passed ; the first colony flour- 
ished a while and became extinct — the second 
colony began and continued five years and was 
abandoned — for nine years afterward the plantation 
lay waste. Then the thirty English families came in 
and laid the foundations of a permanent settlement. 
Bernon gave up his right in the mills, and gave the 
valuable stones and irons for the benefit of the new 
colony. At last, after his hopes and expectations 
had been again and again disappointed, and he had 
grown old, and become unable for lack of means 
to assist the settlement further, on Feb. Sth, 1716, 
nearly twenty-eight years after the deed was written, 
it was acknowledged by Dudley, and passed over 
to him. 


Six days afterward, Feb. nth, 1716, he conveyed 
the property for a thousand pounds to James Bow- 
doin, I who held it until March i6th, 1720-1, when 
he re-conveyed it to Bernon, 2 who the same day 
executed the deed to Mayo, Davis and Weld. 
. Whether Dudley did not consider himself author- 
ized to complete the conveyance until a permanent 
settlement was made, or Bernon declined to accept 
a deed which did not embrace valuable lands which 
he held in possession, — or whether it was withheld 
as a means of influencing Bernon, or some other 
reason existed, does not now appear. But in review- 
ing the transactions in the partial light of the present, 
we can hardly withhold our sympathy from Bernon, 
nor avoid the conclusion that in business matters 
he had, in Gov. Dudley, more than his equal. 

■ Suf. Rec, XXXI., 79. 

2 This conveyance was made by returning the deed he had 
received, with an endorsement upon it in legal form, signed, 
sealed, and witnessed by John Mayo, Samuel Tyler, Jr., and 
acknowledged before John Chandler, Justice of Peace. — Ibid. 




Our knowledge of the men who were actively 
engaged in this enterprise is exceedingly limited, 
with the exception of Bernon. A considerable col- 
lection of his papers remains, to this day, in the 
possession of his descendants, extracts from which 
have been published in several historical works, i 

He was of an old and honorable family in 
Rochelle, where he was born in 1644. "He was 
possessed of a large property there, and was heredi- 
tary registrar of the city." ^ He was imprisoned two 
years for his independence in religious matters, and 
after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes left his 

' Rev. Dr. Holmes had access to them repeatedly, and pub- 
lished, in his memoir of the Huguenots, many interesting facts 
gathered from them. The History of Narragansett Church 
also contains extracts from them, and Zachariah Allen, L.L.D., 
Bernon's great grandson, prepared from them a manuscript 
memoir of him. 

= Potter's Hist. Narragansett, 314. 


country and the greatest part of his estate, i and fled 
to London, from whence he came to America. He 
had a large family of daughters, whose descendants 
are among the first families in Providence. His 
only son died young. 2 " His memory is respectfully 
cherished in the hearts of his descendants." 3 

Mrs. Lee calls him an excellent man, and says his 
memorials are very interesting. The obituary notice 
referred to, continues : 

" He was courteous, honest and kind * » * and has left. 
a good name among his acquaintances. He evidenced the 
power of Christianity by leaving his country and his great 
estate, that he might worship God according to his conscience." 

However estimable he may have been as a friend 
and a citizen, as a business man he was not success- 
ful. He was not lacking in enterprise, for he 

' Obit, notice, Boston, July 19th, 1736, in Hist. Nar. Chh., 60. 

2 Hist. Nar. Chh., 59. 3 Ibid. — He had a brother, Samuel 
Bernon, who was a wealthy merchant, doing business between 
Rochelle and Quebec, where he owned large stores. [La 
Hontan.] This man was a bigoted Roman Catholic, and 
wrote to Gabriel in his old age, on religious and family 
matters, a remarkable letter, full of censure and reproach. 
— Mrs. Lee's Huguenots in France and America, IL, 122. 

ii6 bernon's business schemes. 

projected a variety of business schemes; but it 
would seem that in the novel and changed circum- 
stances in which he found himself in this new 
country, his judgment of affairs was faulty, and most 
of his experiments proved failures. His investments 
in New Oxford were the occasion of heavy pecuniary 
loss to him, and were a source of much trouble and 
anxiety in his old age. 

According to his own representations to Gov. 
Shute, he had engaged in ship-building, in nail 
making, and the manufacture of stuffs and hats. One 
project of his was the extensive manufacture of 
naval stores from the pines which abounded in this 
locality, i About the year 1693, he petitioned the 
king of England for a royal patent, or order to supply 
his majesty's ships with resin, pitch, tar and turpen- 
tine, representing that he had " spent seaven years 
time and labour, and considerable sums of money, and 
has attained to such knowledge and perfection as 
that said commodities have beene bought for your 
Majesty's stores." He also states that he had made 

' We find from the records that in 1723 complaint was made 
to the General Court by the people of Oxford, that trespassers 
were guilty " of bleeding trees for tar," on the adjacent province 
lands. A law was passed prohibiting it. 


two voyages to London with express reference to 
this business, i 

He never lived in Oxford, but resided in Boston 
during the existence of the first colony, and removed 
in 1698 from thence to Newport, R. I., and soon 
afterward to Narragansett, where he remained eight 
or nine years. From that place he removed to 
Providence, where he died in 1736, at the age of 
ninety-two years. He espoused the cause of Episco- 
pacy soon after leaving Boston, and was very zealous 
in promoting its interests, being a leader in the 
organization of the first church of this denomination 
in each of the three above named places. 

While the colony at its commencement was 
dependent for material subsistence upon Bernon, the 
most influential man in it appears to have been 
Pastor Daniel Bondet. From his official position, 
education, and the ease with which he acquired 
the use of the English language, he is believed to 
have filled a considerable place in the secular as well 
as the religious affairs of the village. There is the 
best of testimony to the fact that he discharged his 
varied duties with faithfulness, and that in his life he 
was pure and upright. He received from the society 
under whose direction he labored, a salary of twenty- 

I Bernon Papers. — Holmes, 68. 


five pounds per annum, ' and his people paid him an 
annual stipend of forty pounds. 2 

He was descended from a noble family, his mothei: 
being a daughter of Philippe de Nautonnier, Sieur 
de Castelfranc. Of him, Quick wrote : " This gen- 
tleman preaches in three languages unto three sev- 
eral nations — English, French, and Indians. " He 
espoused a most virtuous lady of a ducal family in 
France. ' 

Dr. Baird in writing of him, says : — 

■ " My impression of Bondet is that he was a worthy and well- 
meaning man, but by no means a man of much strength of 
character. The people of New Oxford seem to have had some 
grievance against him in connection with his removal from 

The following unique letter, has, we believe, never 
before been printed : 

\_D. Bondet to Increase Mather.} 

"New York, the 10 Jan., 1697-8. 
" Dear Sir : — 

" It is an old and innocent custom to use words of congrat- 
ulation at the revolution of the year : we are as travellers in the 

' Heathcote's letter. ^ Mrs. Lee, II. 62. 

3 Agnew's Prot. Exiles from France, II. 164. 


world, and the use * * * to the fellow-travellers * * * 
quid ni in curriculo vita. We are well come then so far, and 
be the Almighty pleased to attend the remaining of -your travel 
with His protection and blessing. Grace be with you, and with 
peace upon your family, and upon the land which you are serv- 
ing so graciously. 

"Also the same I wish heartily to your fellow laborers in the 
ministry at Boston, to whom I present my respect, commending 
my person and labors to their Godly remembrances. 

" I have writ to his Honor Mr. Stoughton for to receive the 
annual subvention assigned to me from the corporation of 
which your honorable court hath assured the continuation in 
my need. I shall not repeat here that your * * reverence hath 
already heard from me, if I have any kind and comforting word 
to expect from your reverence, I pray you direct it to the Rev. 
Mr. Selyns, your worthy friend the minister of York. I remain 
with a true and sincere respect of your reverence the most 
humble and obliged servant 

" Daniel Bondet." 

\^Addressed, "For the Reverend Master Increase Mather, 
President of the College and Mr. of Divinity, Boston.''^ ' 

The delicacy and suavity of this letter are 
marked, and it bespeaks a refinement which was 
characteristic- of the Huguenots. Its contrast in the 
use of language with his representation to General 
Court in 1691, before quoted, 2 is noticeable, and 

I Mass. Arch., LVII. 59. ^ Page 76. 


shows his proficiency in the mastery of a strange 

Another letter, in which he gives us more informa- 
tion concerning himself than we get in any other 
single document, is to Lord Cornbury, Governor of 
New York. 

[V. Bondet to Lord Cornbury, 1702.] 

" My Lord. 

" I most humbly pray your Excellency to be pleased to 
take cognizance of the petitioner's condition. I am a French 
Refugee Minister, incorporated into the body of the Ministry 
of the Anglican Church. I removed about fifteen years 
ago into New England, with a company of poor refugees, 
to whom lands were granted for their settlement, and to 
provide for my subsistence I was allowed one hundred and five 
pieces per annum, from the funds of the Corporation for the 
Propagation of the Gospel among the Savages. I performed 
that duty during nine years with a success approved and 
attested by those who presided over the affairs of that Province. 
The murders which the Indians committed in those countries 
caused the dispersion of our company, some of whom fell by 
the hands of the barbarians. 

" I remained after that two years in that PrOvince expecting 
a favorable season for the re-establishment of affairs : but after 
waiting two years seeing no appearance and being invited to 
this Province of New York by Col. Heathcote who always 
evinces an affection for the public good and distinguishes him- 
self by a special application for the advancement of religion 


and good order by the establishment of churches and schools, 
the fittest means to strengthen and encourage the people, I 
complied with his request, and that of the company of New 
Rochelle in this Province where I passed five years on a small 
allowance promised me by New Rochelle, of one hundred 
pieces and lodging, with that of one hundred and five pieces 
which the Corporation continued to me until the arrival of my 
Lord Bellomont, who, after indicating his willingness to take 
charge of me and my canton, ordered me thirty pieces in the 
Council of York, and did me the favor to promise me that, at 
his journey to Boston, he would procure me the continuation of 
that stipend that I had in times past. But having learned at 
Boston through M. Nanfan, his Lieutenant, that I annexed my 
signature to an ecclesiastical certificate which the churches and 
pastors of this Province had given to Sieur Delius minister of 
Albany, who had not the good fortune to please his late lord- 
ship, his defunct Excellency cut off his thirty pieces which he 
had ordered me in his Council at York, deprived me of the 
Boston pension of twenty-five pieces, writing to London to 
have that deduction approved and left me during three years 
last past in an extreme destitution of the means of subsistence. 

" I believe, my Lord that in so important service as that in 
which I am employed, I ought not to discourage myself, and 
that the Providence of God which does not abandon those who 
have recourse to His aid by well doing, would provide in its 
time for my relief. 

" Your Excellency's equity, the affection you have evinced to 
us for the encouragement of those who employ themselves 
constantly and faithfully in God's service, induce me to hope 
that. I shall have a share in the dispensation of your justice, to 
relieve me from my suffering, so that I may be aided and 


encouraged to continue my service in which by duty and grati- 
tude I shall continue with my flock to pray God for the 
preservation of your person, of your illustrious family, and the 
prosperity of your government. 

"Remaining your Excellency's humble and most respectful 


" Daniel Bondet." ■ 

This letter was favorably received, and through 
the intercession of influential friends, his wants were 
relieved, and he continued his labors with the church 
at New Rochelle, with success, and died there in 
1722, greatly lamented by his people. 

His memory has been preserved among the peo- 
ple of Oxford, in the name of the beautiful meadow 
in the southerly part of the town, which was owned 
by him while living here. 2 

Another man of influence in the colony, was the 
constable, Andrew Sigourney. This office, in those 
days, was more important than it is in our country 
towns at present. The constable was the right arm 
of the law, and its only executive under the magis- 
trate. He was also collector, and all public moneys 
passed through his hands. 

Sigourney was a man of mature age, being forty- 

' Documentary Hist. State of New York, III. 929-931. 
^ Addenda B and H. 


eight at the time of his coming to New Oxford. 
Of his family, we learn that a daughter, Mrs. John- 
son, and one son, (Andrew,) and probably two, were 
here, i Mrs. James Butler, in her reminiscences 
given to Dr. Holmes, says the Huguenots were in 
Oxford eighteen or nineteen years. 2 This state- 
ment, from one of the family descendants, would 
lead us to conclude that the Sigourneys were of the 
second colony as well as the first. If so, they 
evidently had a large interest in the place, and, 
considering their sad experience in the first 
attempt, showed strength of character and courage 
in returning. 

In the introduction to the " Genealogy of the 
Sigourney family," by H. H. W. Sigourney, «Prof. 
J. D. Butler says : — 

" Andrew Sigourney, the first of the name of whom we have 
any record or knowledge, is said to have been comfortably 
settled at or near Rochelle, in France, when the Edict of 

" There are in New England other families of this name who 
do not trace their descent to Andrew, son of the constable. 
From this fact, and also from the tradition that other children 
came from France with Andrew, senior, it is highly probable 
that there were here with him, two sons, at least. — Sigourney 

2 Holmes, 77. 


Nantes was revoked, Oct. 22d, 1685. That report came to his 
knowledge when absent from home, to which he immediately 
hastened, and informed his wife that she must choose at once 
conformity to Papal Canons,, or forsake all at a moment's 
warning ; his determination he declared to be not to submit or 
bow to Baal. He found her ready to say, 'Thy God shall be 
my God.' Two suits of clothes were put upon each of their 
(four ?) children, and the whole family, without preparation or 
attempt to secure their property — without even waiting to par- 
take of the dinner which was preparing for them — hurried on 
board a friendly vessel, and were conveyed to England. Under 
the auspices of Gov. Dudley and others, proprietors of Oxford, 
Massachusetts, they were assisted to proceed to America, 
arriving at Fort Hill, in Boston, late in the autumn of 1686." ' 

Du Tuffeau, after the first breaking up, went to 
New Rochelle. We find his name in a list of 
inhabitants there in 1698, and his age given as 
fifty-two years. He seems to have been in good 
standing, as he was chosen the recorder of the 
town, and the first twenty-three pages . of the 
records are of his writing. He resigned his office 
March 13, 1702, when the book was "found cor- 
rect," and he was " discharged with thanks for his 
administration." 2 

" For account of Sigourney family, see Addenda M. 
2 Dr. Baird. 


Bern on, in his petition to Gov. Shute, says of him : 

" being through poverty obliged to abandon said plantation, [he] 
sold his cattle and other movables for his own particular use, 
went to London, and there died in a hospital." 

He also states that he had at different times 
advanced money to Du Tuffeau, so that he now- 
owed him ipore than one thousands pounds, which 
he counted as lost. He is styled " Gentleman " in 
the deed from Dudley and company, and also in 
the letter of administration on his estate. 

Laborie, who went from Oxford to New York as 
successor to Rev. Pierre Peiret in 1704, "continued his 
labors there until 1 706, when he was discharged by 
the Consistory. ' 

The researches of Dr. Baird have brought to light 
the record of the will of Jean Martin, of New 
Rochelle, and formerly of New Oxford. It is da;ted 
"New Rochelle, Oct. sth, 1700." 


" I Jean Martin, laborer, * * « declare that whereas it is 
the pure truth that my said wife and I having arrived in this 
place, New Rochelle, naked and having nothing but our arms 

' Dr. Baird. 


to gain our bread with, we have toiled in thfe sweat of our brows 
to build and furnish the house we now live in and to clear and 
enclose the lands pertaining thereunto. * * « Wherefore I 
deem it right and reasonable and it is my will that when it shall 
have pleased the Lord to withdraw me to Himself, my said wife 
Anne Martin shall enter into full possession of all that belongs 
to me, as well here as in the place of New Oxford, where we 
formerly lived in New England." 

This quaint and curious document gives some in- 
sight into the character of Martin, and is interesting 
in itself. But a greater interest attaches to it from 
the fact that it shows us one who was typical of 
most of the men who first settled New Oxford. In 
their humble sphere they wrought and endured as 
true men, to their own honor, the honor of God, and 
of the religion they professed. 

While we sympathize with them under their great 
trials and misfortunes, their loyalty to the truth and 
to each other, and their fortitude and constancy 
under adversity, cannot fail to awaken our admira- 
tion, and a regard which is almost a reverence, 
for their memory. 




Of the industries of the place the records give us 
very little information. Here, as in all new places, 
necessarily the first and chief business was subduing 
and cultivating the land ; and it has been seen that 
the aim of the settlers in coming here was to gain a 
living chiefly from the soil. Yet it appears that the 
active mind of Bernon was on the alert, to seize 
every business opportunity which promised a profit- 
able return. We have seen with what zeal he entered 
upon the scheme for the manufacture of ship stores 
from the forests here. We 'learn further, from his 
papers, that he took up another more promising line 
of manufacture, which was the making of glove or 
wash leather from the deer skins which were 
abundant then in this region, and which, when 
dressed, were made use of by both the colonists and 
natives, for a great variety of purposes. Associated 
with him in this business were Ren^ Grignon and 


Jean Papineau. The manufacture was carried on as 
late as 1704. i 

According* to the statement of Dea. Ebenezer 
Humphrey, there lived, about the commencement of 
the present century, near the " old mill place," a 
Frenchman named Bourdine or Bourdille, believed to 
have been of Huguenot stock, but it is not known 
that he left any descendants. ^ With this exception 
we have no evidence that any of the Huguenot 

' One process in this manufacture, was beating the skins with 
heavy hammers in a mill. The mystery of the " wash leather 
mill" is here solved. The "chamoiserie,'' or tannery, contained 
some kind of apparatus similar to a fulling mill, used in the 
manufacture. The location of the tannery is not positively 
known, but the indications are that it was at the upper mill 

" It is clear that Grignon was then living in Oxford. Deer- 
skins are mentioned in Bernon's accounts, in connection with 
the tannery." — [Dr. Baird.] In 1707, Grignon was with Bernon 
in Rhode Island. From the fact of his having been an Elder 
in the French Church, in Boston in 1700, and also from the man- 
ner in which he is referred to by Governor Dudley in the post- 
script of his letter to Bernon, — page 98, — we judge him to 
have been a man of considerable influence. 

2 We can account for the manner in which Dea. Humphrey 
spoke of this man, both to Andrew Sigourney and Dr. Holmes 
[Holmes, 80, 81] only on the supposition that he knew or 
believed him to be of Huguenot origin. 


colonists returned to Oxford after its final desertion 
in f704. Some seventy-five or eighty years after 
that time, two members of the Sigourney family, of 
the fourth generation from Andrew Sigourney the 
constable, came here and took up a permanent resi- 
dence. The descendants of these two persons are 
all of the Huguenot lineage known to be in Oxford 
at the present time, i 

It has been claimed by some historians that Peter 
Shumway, who settled in Oxford in 171 3, came to 
America with Sigourney and others, and was one of 
the original French settlers. This belief has been 
entertained in the family, and, generally, among 
Oxford people. But the testimony of the records is 
against it. We find a petition of Peter Shumway of 
Oxford, presented to the State authorities in 1750, in 

' They are Mr. Archibald Campbell, his sons and grandchildren, 
Mrs. A. W. Porter, Mr. Charles A. Sigourney and children and 
grandchild, Mr. George W. Sigourney and daughter, the wife 
and children of Rev. W. F. Lhoyd, Mr. George W. Sibley and 
Mr. R. Nelson Sibley, with their children, and Mrs. Clara Wat- 
son and daughter. 

Hon. James B. Campbell, of Charleston, S. C; Prof. James D. 

Butler, Madison, Wis.; Peter Butler, Esq., of Boston ; Colonel 

J. W. Wetherell, of Worcester ; Richard Olney, Esq., of Boston, 

and Peter B. Olney, Esq., of New York, are of the same lineage. 



which he says his father, Peter Shumway of Tops- 
field, was in the service of the country in the 
Narragansett war, and was at the taking of the 
Indian Fort, in 1675. i We find also, in the records, 
that the Peter Shumway who came to Oxford in 
1 71 3 was born in Topsfield in 1678, so that he 
was only eight years of age at the time of the 
settlement. We have, by tradition, evidence which 
cannot be discredited, that Peter the soldier came 
from France. It becomes, then, a question of much 
interest as to the origin of the present form of the 
name. It carries in itself evidence that it is 
not French, and search in the principal lists of 
English surnames fails to identify it as English. 
The direct conclusion is, that it is a corruption of a 
French name. A clue to the settlement of the 
question, seems to be given in the Essex county 
records. Here — among the earliest entries it will 
be observed — it is spelled " Shamway," which is 
so nearly a correct expression in English of the 
French name " Chamois," as to lead to the belief 
that this was the original name. 2 

' For this petition, see Addenda P. 

2 An example of a similar change, of recent date, familiar to 
the people of Oxford, is that of " Benoit " to " Benway.'' 


On this point Dr. Baird writes as follows : — 

"My Dear Sir: 

" In view of the tradition regarding the French extraction of 
the Shumway family, I can only offer the conjecture that the 
name may have undergone a transformation similar to that 
which has befallen many Huguenot names in England and 
America. If French, the name ' Chamois ' ' offers a probable 
solution. The transition from this to 'Shumway' would be 
very easy. A Protestant family bearing this name is mentioned 
in a list of fugitives from the neighborhood of Saint Maixent, 
in the old province of Poitou, (in the present department of 
Deux-Sfevres,) France, at the period of the. Revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes. A number of Huguenots found their way to 
New England at an earlier day ; and a Chamois, the founder of 
the Shumway family, may have been one of these. 

" Very truly yours, 

" Charles W. Baird. ^ 
" George F. Daniels, Esq." 

The existing relics of the colony are few. We 
learn from people now living, that seventy-five years, 
ago, near the sites of the dwellings, which were- 
easily traced by the cellars, many apple trees of large : 

I Pronounced Shamwah. 

? For extracts from Essex county and Topsfield records, and" 
other matters relating to the subject, see Addenda Q. 


growth and apparently of great age, existed, and 
within fifty years past, decaying remains of orchards 
were standing in positions that indicated that they 
were set by the hands of the Huguenots, i In the 
record of the doings of the selectmen of Oxford, 
we find that in February, 17 14, the year after the 
settlement by the English, a road was laid out from 
the " eight-rod road," easterly, near the " old mill 
place," " on the south side of an orchard." 2 That 
orchard is well remembered by persons now living, 
and was directly between the old mill site and the 

main street. 

The locations of the larger portion of the Huguenot 
houses could be traced, forty years ago, by the hollows 
in the earth, but to-day very few of them can be 
found. 3 

Fortunately we have one memento worthy of pres- 
ervation, which by tradition has been marked for 
many years as genuine — the chimney stone of the 
Johnson house. This is a straight, smooth, unham- 
mered stone about six feet long, sixteen to eighteen 

I Addenda E. and G. 2 Addenda G. 

3 A few years since, Mr. E. D. Rich filled two of these hollows 
which were near the upper mill site, and which probably marked 
the location of the dwellings of those who had care of the 


inches wide, and six inches thick. It may now be 
seen near the entrance of Memorial Hall. 

The best known relic is the ruin of the large fort. 
This place was examined by Dr. Holmes and Prof. 
Brazer in 1819, when they "traced the lines of the 
bastions of the fort." i 

In 1846, Mr. Allen, before named, visited it, 
made some measurements, and projected a plan of 
it which was published in the " History of Narragan- 
sett Church," page 61. He says "sufficient, how- 
ever, remain of the foundation stones and of portions 
of the walls of a salient angle, to indicate to the eye 
of a visitor the military design of the only remaining 
fortification of masonry that still serves to perpetuate 
recollections of the bloody scenes of the Indian wars 
among the now peaceful hills of New England." 

Many years ago the walls of the structure were 
removed, down to the foundation stones, excepting on 
the south line, where parts of the original wall may 
be seen, but which is mainly a confused mass three 
or four feet high, overgrown with wild grape vines and 
bushes, among which may be seen cinnamon roses, 
currants, and asparagus, believed to be relics of the 
garden which flourished in the vicinity at the time of 
the occupation. 

' Holmes, 80. 


No change, other than that which time inevitably 
brings, has been made in these remains for the last 
fifty years. The outline of the southern wall indi- 
cates that a small portion of it at the southwestern 
angle projected a few feet, and formed what might 
have answered the end of a " salient angle." But 
no signs of bastions are now to be seen. So far as 
can be judged by its present appearance, it was little 
more than a strong enclosure, built without mortar, of 
the rough surface stones, and perhaps, in parts, of 
timber. Its dimensions were about seventy-five by 
one hundred and five feet, and the foundation indi- 
cates a wall from four to five feet in thickness. The 
southern wall extended westerly beyond the corner, 
about forty feet ; apparently as a cover to the 
entrance at the southwestern angle. ' John Mayo, 
aged eighty-one, who lived near the place, said " there 
was a very considerable house, with a cellar, well, 
etc., within it." ^ The place of the well is now dis- 
tinctly marked. 

This does not appear to have been in any sense a 
public work, but was built at Bernon's expense, and 
was under his control, as a necessity to his interests 
as well as those of the colonists. As he does not 
mention it when making specifications to Gov. Shute, 

■ Mrs. Lee, II, 64. 


in his application for reimbursement, we conclude 
that it was a work of comparatively small cost.' 

Mrs. Lee, quoting from the manuscript of John 
Mayo, says : " There was a garden outside the fort, 
on the west, containing asparagus, grapes, plums, 
cherries, and gooseberries. There were more than 
ten acres cultivated around the fort." Such a garden 
in the wilderness, when we consider circumstances, 
seems a strange thing, but doubtless a refined taste, 
and the desire to perpetuate in this new Western 
home some of the sweet memories of sunny France 
had much to do with its existence. 

Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, in speaking of the plants 
growing on the ruined wall, says: "They were 
living tokens of the loved clime whence they 
were exiled." She adds : — 

" Peculiar sacredness adheres to this spot. Hither ihey 
turned with their wives and little ones for a refuge, in a strange 
land. When the dread of a savage foe fell upon them, it was 
hallowed by their prayers to the God of all power and might." ^ 

The most complete memento of the extinct colony 
is at the sijte of the upper mill, one mile easterly 

I In the title of his plan of the fort, Mr. Allen says, "Built 
by Gabriel Bernon." 
^ Manuscript, December 20th, i860. 


from the main street. This relic has not been men- 
tioned by any writer on the Oxford Huguenots, and 
is but little known in comparison with the other 
historic places. It is in the midst of a small 
meadow which is skirted by wooded uplands, and in 
midsummer is so overhung and shut in by trees 
and wild undergrowth as to be hidden from the 
casual observer. Here the substantial dam, some 
sixty feet in length, both wall and embankment, 
stands almost entire, — a deep trench to convey the 
water from the pond to the mill-wheel, a distance of 
seventy -five feet, is distinctly to be seen — the 
position of the mill can be fixed — and the waste- 
way, running from the wheel about one hundred feet 
to the stream below, seems to have been but recently 
made, so little has it been obstructed. 

In this retired spot, the kindly hand of nature has 
protected and preserved the handiwork of the 
Huguenots, as it has been kept in no other locality 
in Oxford. The place is full of interest to the anti- 
quary, and is well worth a visit, not only for its 
associations, but for its quiet, picturesque beauty. 


The names of the Huguenot families who settled 
New Oxford, so far as ascertained, are as follows : 

Montel, I. Ober Germon, 

J. Dupeu, I. Jean Maillet, 

Capt. Jermon, i. Andrd Segourn^, 

Peter Cant^, i. Jean Millet on, * 

Bureau I'aine, i. Peter Canton, 

Elie Dupeu, 4. I. Bertrand Du Tuffeau, 

Jean Martin, 5. M. Alard, 

M. Bourdille, 6. Ren^ Grignon. 

In addition to these. Barber gives, p. 593 His. Col.: 

M- Germaine, M. Boudinot, 

Jean Baudoin, Benj. Faneuil. 

Mr. Olney in his Address gives : 

Paix Cazeneau, and "perhaps" Jean Beaudoin and Benjamin 

' These signed Bernon's certificate, declaring themselves to 
have been inhabitants of New Oxford. ^ Extract of whose 
will we give. 3 Spoken of by Dea. Humphrey to Dr. Holmes, 
♦ Bernon's agent, s Children taken away by Indians. .* In 
" chamoiserie " in 1704. 

* z. e., Jean Millet, or Maillet, anc. \ancien. Elder.] It 
seems there were two of the name, perhaps father and son, and 
the one was an Elder in the French Church. 


On April 12, 171 2, the original proprietors issued 
the following : 

[From a copy of the original in the Town Clerk's Office.'] 


" We the under written with other owners and proprietors of 
the lands at Oxford in the neepmug country granted to us by 
the general assembly of the Massachusetts colony, and since 
otherwise ratified and confirmed to ourselves in the Kingdom 
of Great Britain, having long time determined and surveyed 
ten or twelve thousand acres for a village and settlement of 
inhabitants and accordingly established a number of Frentch 
Famalyes, Refugees, who have since deserted the place whereby 
all improvements are lost which is a detriment to the province 
as well as to ourselves in the hope of our own private advan- 
tage, by our other lands — do hereby agree and offer to thirty 
English families that shall settle there to give grant and confirm 
to them all the lands of the said village containing the said ten 
thousand acres, except what is already granted to Mr. Bernon 

which is acres, to be laid out to them, first a quantity of 

it in house lots not exceeding forty acres a family, and after the 
rest in proper divisions as they may agree among themselves 
always provided they be thirty families, and in the meantime if 
ten families or more shall proceed forthwith within a year to 
settle there, they shall have their house lots set out to them, 
and they as they have the use of the other land meadows until the 
number be thirty, and then they have liberty to divide the whole. 



If any of the French families choose to come thither we do 
hereby save to ourselves liberty to establish them with other 
inhabitants, and Capt. Chandler the surveyor is hereby allowed 
to lay out lots accordingly, taking care always that he do not 
intrench upon the land of the proprietors. 


J. Dudley, 

William Taylor, 
Peter Sargent, 


John Danforth, 
Eliza Danforth, 


Heirs and Exec- 
utors of 
Wm. Stoughton. 

In May, 1713, the surveying of house lots to those 
who had made choice of them with a view to settle- 
ment, began. By July the requisite number was 
complete, and on the eighth day of that month a deed 
from the proprietors to the thirty English colonists 
was executed, conveying to them the plat called the 

Thus commenced the permanent settlement of 

Upon the first page of the earliest existing records 
of Oxford there stands alone a word of deep signifi- 
cance, placed there by one of the fathers of the town, 
as a charge to the coming generations. That sug- 
gestive word may fitly close this imperfect recital of 
the experiences of 

The Huguenots in the Nipmuck Country. 


VILLAGE proprietor's RECORDS. 

We learn from the Oxford records, that there were here 
when the English settlement began, improvements, [A.J 
orchards [E. and G.] and in one case a building [A.] left by 
the Huguenots — which were valuable, and for which 
those who came into possession of them were required 
to pay the Village Corporation. It appears that each 
man in the settlement chose his forty acres for a home 
lot wherever he saw fit, and the balance of the lands was 
divided by lot. 

Joseph Chamberlin's choice of a house lot is the first 
recorded, and it may be presumed that, at least in his 
estimation, it was the best. [A.J 

Pages 68, io8. 

"may 13th, 1 713. Surveyed for Joseph Chamberlin sen'^ 
Round the great house 40 acres being a home lott in oxford : 
and four acres and one Rood in it being allowed for a highway 
going through. * * * surveyed by John Chandler Jun. 
Approved and Established by order of the original proprietors 


provided he pay for the bettering his lott by former Improve- 
ment and building. 

"By John Chandler, who made such an agreement at the 
beginning." — Village Rec. 13. 

"Oxford the 4 of february 1714 Joseph Chambbarline siner 
House loute bein upoun boundet hel so caled, bounded on the 
nourest with a stake and a hape of stons rouneing a hundred 
and twenty rodes sovurly on burnnun line to a black oke run- 
ning westerly sixty rods to a stack and a hepe of stones than 
rouning nurarly on hundred rods to a stack an Hepe stones 
foust named * « * provided he pays as tow men shal 
judge is beater than other lots in sd village." — Ibid. 2. 

The highway which ran through this lot, was Woodstock 
"great trail," which ran from Johnson's plain, northeast- 
erly over Bondet hill, and near the "great house," which 
stood on its eastern slope. A large hollow in the earth 
now marks the place of a building which Mr. John Mayo 
who was born and lived to old_ age, near the place, said 
was kept as a tavern, early in the town history. Whether 
it was the " great house " is a matter of conjecture. There 
is much room for speculation as to what this building 
was. Its being called a house would indicate that it 
was a dwelling, and if so, it probably was that of Bondet. 

Pages 51, 122. 
"It was voted * * » in Nov. 30, 1714 that the committy 


shall begin to lay out meddow att East End of the great med- 
dow, from thence to the meddow on Ellat's mill brook, from 
thence to the croth of the Reveir so down strame the Reveir : 
to the line from thence to bundit's meddow." — Ibid. 4. 

The fact that the committee were directed to pass the 
Village line into Dudley's land, and go on to the "crotch" 
of the river, etc., shows that on some conditions, he had 
released to the Village a portion of his meadows, perhaps 
to make up for the deficiency in the Bernon grant. 


Pages 70, 83. 

"A way laid out by the selectmen beginning att a white oake 
tree on Jonson's plain near Woodstock path running north- 
wardly marked on the west sid to neland's feald on the great 
plain by the old mill place, from thence marked on the East sid 
by staks and trees tel it coms to the brooke on the Northwardly 
sid of peter Shumway's frame of his house, from thence on the 
West sid of the swamp to and by the ends of the houselots of 
John town and Israel town and Daniel Eloit Juner sd way being 
Eight rods wide laid out febeuary the sixt 1713-4." — Ibid. i. 

This "way" included the present Main street. 

Page 102.^ 
Jan. 25th, 1714. "Voted at a lofel town meten that Danel 
Elaet shauld buld a greust mel for the town yuse." — Ibid. 


Page 69. 

Jan. 2jth, 1 71 4. "Voted that Ebbenzar Humphry should 
have the orchard Joyning to the Southwest corner of his home 
lot making allounce to the Town in money to full of what tow 
men shall judge it to be worth." — Ibid. 

Page 69. 

"A way laid out from the four rod way to benieman nelands 
home lot, begining att a wihite oake tree on the lowlands on 
y" Southwardly Side of the frinch burying place, from thence 
marked on the North sid to nelands home lot, said way is tow 
rods wide, febeuary the sixt on 171 3-4." — Ibid. 

The conformation of the land on the southerly side of 
the reputed location of this burying place, agrees with this 

Page 132. 

"a highway laid out by the Select men beginning att the 
Eight rod way on the southwardly sid of an orchard neer the 
old mill running over the old mill brook to a rock on the East 
of said Brooke, from thence marked on the northwardly side 
with mark trees tel it coms to barnon's land neer the North 
East corner of Joseph Chamberlin seneor's home lot said way 
being four rods wide." Feb. 6th, 1714. — Ibid. 

This was the road from the main street to the fort. 



Page 122. 
. In the description of Nathaniel Chamberlin's lot, 
"Bundet" meadow is referred to. — Ibid. 48. 


Page III. 

Apr. nth. 172 1. The report of the committee of the 

Proprietors, chosen to act with Thomas Mayo, Joseph 

Weld and Samuel Davis, to settle the lines of the Bernon 

land, gives the following description : — 

" begins at a heap of stones on a cleeft of Rock westward of 
a certain meadow commonly called the great meadow and from 
said heap of stones to extend N. one degree ten minutes E. 
140 perch to a heap of stons, thence E. at right angles, 100 
perch to a heap of stons, from thence northwardly at right 
Angles 112 perch to a heap of stons, thence Easterly at right 
angles 252 perch to a heap of stones [Oxford line,] thence 
southerly [on said town line] at right angles 280 perch to a heap 
of stons, thence S. 15° east 674 perch [on said Oxford line] to 
a heap of stones [Manchaug corner] thence westerly at right 
angles 474 perch to a heap of stons, thence Northerly at right 
angles 120 perch to a heap of stons, thence W. 4° N. 154 
perch to a heap of stons, thence N. 13° E. 464 perch to a black 
oak tree, thence Northerly 56 perch to a heap of stones, thence 
E. 6° S. 104 perch to aheap of stones, thence N. 12? E. 120 
perch to a heap of stons, thence W. 12° N. 148 perch to the 
heap of stons first mentioned." — Ibid. 16. 


Sept. 2ist, 1721. " Y= quistion was put whether y" return of 
y^ committe chosen Mar. 27th 1721 to settel and make bounds 
between the proprietors and those who bought Mr. Demon's 
Farm as it was set forth by the plat and wrighting which was 
voted in the affirmative." — Ibid. 44. 

Page 107. 

The following votes show that the town conceded 
Bernon's rights in the deeded land : — 

" Att a lawful! town meeting held in Oxford Oct. 15 1714 it 
was aggreed upon and voted that the 172 acars of meddow 
which is to be taken out of gabrel barnons farm shall be taken 
up at the great meddow." 

" was voted at the same meeting that Nathaniel Chamberlin's 
lot should be layed to the land taken up in barnons farm for 
want of a mesuer of meddow which we were to take in one 
piece if it can be done." — Ibid. 

There were not, " in one piece," 172 acres of meadow 
in Bernon's tract. The dotted line on the map shows 
what was taken from the "farm " at the great meadow. 

Bernon was taxed, Sept. 4, 1717, for the support of the 
gospel in Oxford. His name is first on the list, and the 
amount is larger than that of any other landholder. 

An entry occurs as follows : — 

"Sept. 12 1720. Voted and chose Ebenezer Learned and 


Isaac Lamed to act in our behalf in malcing demand of what is 
due from Mr. Bernon to us according to his deed or lease, and 
receive the same." 

We know of no reasonable explanation of this vote, 
except the supposition that Dudley and Company had 
made over to the village their claim of the annual quit 
rent due from Bernon. 

Page 75. 
This deed in substance is as follows : — 

" This indenture made the 24th day of May A. D. 1688 
* * * between Joseph Dudley of Roxbury, William 
Stoughton of Dorchester * * * Esqs. Robert Thompson 
of London * * * Merchant, Daniel Cox of London afore- 
said. Doctor in Physick, and John Blackwell of Boston * * * 
Esq. on the one part and Gabriel Bernon of Boston aforesaid,, 
Merchant on the other part — Witnesseth 

" Whereas Isaac Barton, [Bertrand,] Gentleman, hath hereto- 
fore had the allowance [of said parties of the first part] to elect, 
and make choice of 500 acres of land * * * within * * *■ 
the southeast angle of [a tract of land called New Oxford, 
village] to and for the use of him the said Barton and the said 
Gabriel Bernon, * * « and whereas since the electing of 
the said 500 acres, he [Bertrand] hath proposed' that he may 
have 250 acres more of said land * * * to the use afore- 
said ; and he the said Gabriel Bernon that he may have 1 750 


acres more of the said lands, * * * adjoining to the said 
'500 acres to and for the use of said Gabriel Bernon, his heirs 
and assigns — 

" Now these presents witness that [the above named parties 
of the first part] as well for and in consideration that the said 
Gabriel Bernon hath undertaken and by these presents doth 
undertake and engage within twelve months after the day of the 
date of these presents at his own proper cost and charges to 
erect build and maintain a Corn or Grist Mill in some conven- 
ient and fitting place within the said town of Oxford for the use 
of the Inhabitants of said town and village [unto which mill 
* * * said inhabitants shall be obliged] at all times forever 
hereafter to make their suit as also for and in consideration of 
the sum of 5 shillings * « * paid by said Bernon * « * 
and the rents and covenants hereafter mentioned * * * 
[the parties of the first part] do grant bargain sell and confirm 
to the said Isaac Barton and Gabriel Bernon * * * all that 
tract * * * of 500 acres * * * ele.cted as aforesaid 
by said Isaac Barton, to hold to them the said Isaac Barton and 
Gabriel Bernon * * * and all that and those 250 acres 
more desired by said * * * Barton as aforesaid, and 1750 
acres more desired by the said Gabriel Bernon adjoining to the 
said 500 acres * * * within the southeast angle of Oxford 
village * * * as followeth * » * 

" Beginning at a walnut tree marked (S. D.) standing at the 
west angle of Manchaug — and thence running W. 15° S. 352 
perches, and from thence to be set off by a line to be drawn 
parallel to the utmost easterly line and bounds of the said 
Oxford village * * * as far as will complete the full 
quantity of 2872 acres * * * so that if the said line shall 
not extend unto and include and take in the utmost westerly 


part of the said 500 acres * * # said Barton elected for 
himseH and tiae said Gabriel Bernon * « * the said 500 
acres shall nevertheless be included * » * within the 
* * * 2872 acres aforementioned * * * the whole 
quantity of 2872 acres shall be set out accordingly whereof the 
forementioned 500 acres and 250 acres more desired by the said 
Isaac Barton to be jointly held and enjoyed by them the said 
Isaac Barton and Gabriel Bernon * * * also 1750 acres 
more thereof to be held and enjoyed by him the said Gabriel 
Bernon [his heirs and assigns for their use and behoof] and 200 
acres more thereof to the use of Daniel Bondet, his heirs and 
assigns forever. 

" Excepting and reserving to [said parties of the first part] 172 
acres of meadow land * * * jn one entire parcel and 
adjoining unto the lands of Manchaug aforesaid [in such place 
as they may choose.] 

"And providing [the parties of the first part or any two or 
more of them resident in New England may lay out over such 
lands] such common paths or ways * * * as they shall 
judge necessary or comhiodious for the said [township or vil- 
lage.] Yielding and paying therefor yearly and every year on 
the 24th of March at or in the Town house of Boston afore- 
said, unto [said parties of the first part] or to their certain 
attorney deputy or agent by them * * * appointed to 
receive the same, the annual rent of 40 shillings current money 
of New England. * * * And the said Gabriel Bernon for 
himself his heirs and assigns * * * doth covenant, grant 
and agree with [the parties of the first part] that he [or his 
heirs or assigns] will well and truly pay or cause to be paid to 
the said [parties of the first part] the said yearly rent [as afore- 


said] and that in case of non-payment tliereof or any part 
thereof [it shall be lawful for the parties of the first part to] 
enter said premises and distrain and the distresses there found 
from time to time to lead carry away sell or dispose at such 
rates as they can get for the same * * * and with the 
proceeds imburse and satisfy themselves [for all arrearages and 
charges] rendering the overplus (if any be) to him the said 
Gabriel Bernon « * # 

"And that in case of his the said Isaac Barton and Gabriel 
Bernon deserting or rehnquishing the said lands [or there shall 
not be found on said premises sufficient goods] for satisfying 
within any twelve months after the same shall grow due, this 
present grant and all the matters and things therein contained 
shall thenceforth cease, determine, and be utterly null and void, 
and the lands * * » shall revert * * * unto [the said 
parties of the first part] and shall and may lawfully be by them 
entered upon, possessed and enjoyed as in their former 
estate » * « 

" [The parties of the first part] covenant and agree with said 
Isaac Bartron and Gabriel Bernon their heirs and assigns [that 
they the said Bartron and Bernon performing the afore named 
acts faithfully as specified, may] have hold and enjoy the 
premises hereby granted against [said parties of the first part] 
or any other person or persons lawfully claiming or to claim the 
same or any part thereof * * * by, from or under them or 
any of them. 

" In witness whereof the said Joseph Dudley, William 
Stoughton, Robert Thompson, Daniel Cox and John Blackwell 
have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first 
above written. Joseph Dudley and a seal, William 


Stoughton and a seal, John Blackwell and a seal. Feb. 
6th 1690 William Stoughton Esq. and John Blackwell Esq. 
acknowledge this Instrument to be their voluntary act and deed. 
Before Sam'' Sewall Ass'it. 

" Signed sealed and delivered in presence of us by Joseph 
Dudley, William Stoughton and John Blackwell. Daniel 
Allen, Richard Wilkins, Jno. Herbert Howard, Suffolk 
&c. Boston 5th of February 1 716. The Hon. Joseph Dudle) 
Esq. personally appeared before me the Subscriber one of His 
Majesty's Justices of the Peace in Said County, and did 
acknowledge this Instrument to be his free act and deed — 
Samuel Lynde — February 5th, 1716. 

" Received and accordingly entered and examined. 

"John Ballantyne Reg' ." 
—Suffolk Co. Rec, XXX. 268. 

Page 'jd. 

[" contract De Mr Cherch pour Le Moulin de New-0xford"'\ 

"Articles of Agreement had made concluded and agreed 
upon by and Between Caleb Church of Watertown Millright 
and Gabriel Bernon of Boston Merc' this Day of March 

Anno Domini One Thousand six hundred Eight Eight Nine. 

"Imp= The said Caleb Church doth Covenant and Agree 
with the s"! Gabriel Bernon that he shall and vill att his own 
Proper Costs and Charges Erect Build and fSnish a Corn or 


Grist mill in all Poynts workemanlike in Such Place in the 
Village of Oxford as shall by the s* Bernon be Directed the 
s* Mill House to be Twenty two foot Long and Eighteen foot 
Broad and Eleven foot stud Substantially and SuflSciently 
covered with a Jett to Cover the Wheele and a Chamber fitt for 
the Laying and Disposing Corn Bags or other Utensills 
Necessary for the s* Mill and the s* Church doth Covenant to 
find att his Own Proper Costs all the Iron Worke Necessary 
for the s* Mill and all other Things Except what is hereafter 

" Item, The said Gabriel Bernon doth Covenant and Agree 
with the said Caleb Church that hee will bee att the Charge of 
searhing Preparing and Bringing to Place the Mill Stones for 
the s* mill and that he will by the Oversight and Direction of 
the s* Church Make Erect and finish the Earth of the Dame 
that shall bee by the s'' Church adjudged necessary for the 
s* Mill and also will dig and Prepare the Place where the Mill 
shall be Erected and also will allow to the s* Church five 
hundred foot of Boards and Persons to help for the Cutting 
Down of the Timber and will bee att the Charge of Bringing 
the Timber to Place and further doth Covenant to Pay to the 
s* Church for his Labor and Pains herein the Sume of forty 
Pounds two thirds thereof in money the Other Third in goods 
att money price in Three Equall Payments One Third att the 
Sailing the Timber One Third att the Raising and the Last att 
the finishing the s* mill 

" Lastly The s* Church doth Covenant and Promies to finish 
the s* Mill all sufiicient and workemanlike and Sett her to 


Worke by the Last day of Aug'- next after the Day of the Date 
hereof In Wittness whereof they have hereunto sett their 
hands and seals the day and Year first above written 

" Caleb Church. [Seal.l 
" Sealed and Delivered 

" in Presence of 

" I. Bertrand Dutuffeau 
"Tho Dudley." 

Endorsed on the back of the original paper is the 
following : 

" Within named Caleb Church do ingage and promis to find 
the stones and laye them on to make mele at my one costs and 
charge for the which m' Bernon doth ingage and promis to 
paye for the same one and twenty pounds in corent mony for 
the same to be concluded when the mile grinds 

"Boston May: y« 20: 1689 
"Richard Wilkins Caleb Church 

" Edmond Browne Gabriel Bernon." 


Next follows this statement : 

£ 's: d 
" £Eor the mill in first the sum of forty pounds 40 : 00 : 

secondly for the stones of the said one and 

twenty pounds 21 : 00 : 

forthely for an addition to the house six pounds 6 : 00 : 


67 : 00 : 


Then follow two receipts from Mr, Church : 

" Received one third Part of the within mentioned sume of 
forty wch is Thirteen Pounds six shillings and Eight Pence two 
thirds in money and one third in Goods by me 

" Caleb Church." 

"More I have received fifty three pounds tirteen shillings 
wich the above said sura are in all the sum of sixty and seven 
pounds in full following our s* bargain Boston : 4 february 
1689-90 received by my 

" Caleb Church." 
" Peter Basset in witness 
"Gabriel Depont present." 

— Bernon Papers. — Dr. Baird. 

Page 124. 

Andrew Sigourney, the constable, died in Boston, April 
i6th, 1727, aged eighty-nine years, and was interred in the 
Granary burial ground, near the grave of Pierre Daillb. 
His children were — Andrew, born in France in 1673, and 
Susan, also born in France, who married, first, John 
Johnson, who was killed by the Indians, and, second, 


Daniel Johonnot, her cousin, of Boston. Andrew married 
Mary Germaine, who was born in France, 1680. He was 
a distiller, and one of the proprietors of the French 
church, and executed, with others, a deed conveying .it. 
May 7th, 1748. He died in 1748. Andrew and Mary 
Germaine Sigourney had nine children, the fifth being 
Anthony, who married, first, Mary Waters of Salem, 
and, second, Elizabeth Breed, m. n. Whittemore. An- 
thony and Mary Waters Sigourney had three children, 
the first being Mary, who married James Butler. They 
came to Oxford to live soon after the revolutionary 
war, and from them descended the Butler and Camp- 
bell families, well known for fifty years past in Oxford. 
Anthony and Elizabeth Breed Sigourney had two chil- 
dren the second being Andrew, born Nov. 30th, 1752. 
He married, July 26th, 1787, Elizabeth Wolcott, daughter 
of Josiah Wolcott, Esq., and granddaughter of Rev. John 
Campbell, the first English minister of Oxford. From 
them descended all of the name since living in the town. 
" He was apprenticed to a sail maker in Boston, went to 
Newfoundland and worked at his trade till the revolu- 
tionary war broke out, and came then to his uncle 
Holman (?) in Sutton, Mass. He, with his brother 
Anthony, and cousin (?) Jonathan Holman, entered the 
army * * * were in the battle at White Plains and 
other engagements. He obtained a commission as com- 
missary, with the rank of Captain. In 1784 he settled in 

1 56 ADDENDA. 

Oxford, and became wealthy in trade." — [Sigourney 
Genealogy.] He commenced business with Mr. Butler, 
the husband of his half sister, and continued with him 
about ten years. Their store was at the place known as 
the " Butler tavern," near the old common. About 1794 
he removed to the centre of the town, and was in trade 
alone until about 1825, when he gave up his business 
to his eldest son, William. 

Page 92. 

As illustrative of the Indian character, we give two inci- 
dents which occurred in the early history of Oxford, which 
come to us well authenticated. 

A town meeting was assembled on a certain day at the 
old tavern on the Plain, which stood at the corner where 
the Post Office now is. In that meeting was a party of 
noisy, drunken Indians, who became so annoying that the 
moderator called upon Col. Ebenezer Learned, one of the 
first English settlers, — a courageous and powerful man, — 
to have them removed. Learned approached the ring- 
leader, and, stooping, placed his head between the' legs of 
the intruder, and raising him up, lifted him upon his 
shoulders. Then calling upon the rest of the company to 
follow, he marched across the hall, down the stairs, and 
out into the middle of the street, where he deposited his 
burden in a sitting posture, and there left him. 


A few days afterward, as he was at work in his sawmill 
at the "upper falls" — now the site of the "Huguenot 
Mill '' at Notth Oxford — looking westward into the 
woods, he saw a large number of Indians filing down 
the hillside toward the mill. As they approached the 
open ground, he took his gun in hand and walked out 
to reconnoitre. Upon seeing him they at once laid down 
their guns and other weapons, and came towards him in a 
friendly manner, and after saluting him, asked him to 
stand still a little while, as they had something to give 
him. They then returned to the woods, and soon re-ap- 
peared, bringing with them a quantity — an armful, as the 
story goes — of valuable furs, which they presented to him 
as a token of their gratitude for his considerate and kind 
treatment of the drunken members of their tribe who had 
disturbed the late town meeting. 

The other incident relates to an experience of Learned 
in his own house at North Oxford. 

At candle light one cold evening, an Indian came to 
his door and asked for food and shelter. He was kindly 
received, and after supper was allowed to camp before the 
large open fire-place in the old-fashioned kitchen. Some 
time during the night the Colonel became conscious of a 
presence stooping over him as he lay in bed. The Indian, 
perceiving that he was awake, said to him in a scornful 
tone, " You, pale face ! " Learned was out of bed in an 
instant, and with a well-directed blow laid the fellow upon 


the floor, and in a few seconds had him outside the house 
and the door shut upon him. 

He saw no more of his visitor for about a year, when he 
again made his appearance, at evening, as before. He 
had in his hand a roll of valuable furs, which he presented 
respectfully to Learned, with the laconic remark, " You 
brave," and left without ceremony. 

Page 98. 

[^Agreement between Gabriel Bernon and Oliver and Nathanael 

" Know all men by these presents that I Gabril Bernon hath 
bargind with and let vnto Oluer Coller and Nathanel CoUer my 
howse and farme at new oxford Called the olde mill ; with four 
Cowes and Calfes the which said farm and Cowes I have let for 

five years upon the Conditions as foloweth that they brake 

up and monnure and plant with orchod two Acers and half of 
land with in the s'' Term of Fiue and also to spend the remain- 
part of their time to work upon the other lands ; and all that is 
soed dow now to ly to English grass and at the end of fiue years 
for s* oluer Coller and Nathanel Coller for them to resine up 
peceble posestion of the s* hous farm and four Cowes and 
Calves and half the increes to the s* Gabril Bernon or his heirs 
or asigns the s* two Acers and half of land ly a boue the spring 
on the side of the hill ; and for thare in Courigment I haue let 
them one pare of oxen for one year, the which s* oxen they 
must Deliuer to me at s* term ; and in case the oxen be lost 
they must make them good ; Exsept by the enemy. 


" to the performence of this our bargin we have heer unto set 
our hands in the presents of us 

memerandom they have 

ingaged to brak up half 

one Acer of land evere 

year and to pay the three 

first yers six shilling p year 

and two last years to 

pay tweny shilling p " The mark of X Oluer Coller 

year and we have " The mark of — Nathanael Coller 

ualled the s'l four 

Cows at tw pounds 

"Joseph Twichels 
"Thomas Allerton" 


Page 130. 

" To THE Honorable Spencer Phips Esq Lieut Gov- 
ernor AND commander IN CHIEF IN AND OVER HIS 

Majestie's Province of the Massachusetts Bay 
IN New England: The Honorable Council and 
House of Representatives in General Court 
Assembled : 

"The Memorial of Peter Shumway of Oxford most humbly 
sheweth that whereas your humble memorialist did many years 
ago prefer a petition to the Honorable General Court of this 
Province praying that as he is the legal heir and representative 
of Peter Shumway of Topsfield who was a long time in the 


service of this Country and particularly in the Narragansett 
war, and taking the Indian fort there which he in said petition 
proved by living testimonies and which he believes the Honor- 
able John Chandler and others worthy members of this 
Honorable Court do yet remember, 

" And whereas your aged, decrepid and poor memorialist hath 
never yet received any gratuity, or reward in land or otherwise 
for his said father's services and sufferings as many others have 
done, your most humble memorialist again most humbly prayeth 
this Honorable Court in their wonted goodness and compassion 
would make him a grant of some piece of Country land for said 
services, or otherwise as in their great wisdom they [see] fit : 
which will oblige your most humble memorialist — as jn duty 
bound will ever pray. 

"(Signed) Peter Shumway. 

"March 23, 1749-50." 

— Mass. Arch., XLVI. 212. 

This paper is in the handwriting of Rev. John Campbell, 
Minister of Oxford fronf 1721 to 1761. 

Page 131. 
[^Extracts from the Records of Essex Couniy.] 


" Peeter sonn of Pgeter Shumway borne the 6th of June 1678. 
"John, son of Peter Shamway borne the 20th January 


" Samuell Shamway son of Peeter Shamway borne 2th Novem- 
ber 1681. 

"The birth of Dorcas Shumway daughter of Peter and 
Francis Shumway y" 16 Oct 1683. 

"Joseph son to Peter and Francis Shumway Octo. 13, i686." 

[From Topsfield Town Records. '\ 
" Peter Shumway and Mariah Smith both of Boxford ' ware 

married on y° nth day of February 1 700-1." 
["She was daughter of Robert and Mary, B. 1677, Dec. 18."] 

— Letter of John H. Gould. — Topsfield. 

[From Congregational Church Records, Topsfield.'] 

"Valentine Butler and Dorcas Shumway married 1711 
November 26." 


" Peter Shumway, his 
"Oliver — May 10, 1702. Jeremiah — Mar. 21, 1703. 
" David — Dec. 23, 1 705. Mary — May 9, 1 708. 
"Samuel — April 22, 1711. John — Aug. 15, 1713." 
[These children, if living, probably came to Oxford with 

' Boxford joins Topsfield on the west, and while they lived in 
Boxford they still continued their connection with the Topsfield 

1 62 ADDENDA. 

their parents in 1713. Tliree others — Jacob, Hepzibah, and 
Amos — were born in Oxford.] 

{Extract from a ^^ Book of Accounts'" of John Gould, Tops- 
field, selected from twentyfour entries of accounts with 
" Goodwife Shomway, ' from 1699 to 1708.] 

" Goodwife Shomway Crd Six days of John and one day of 
Samuell to thrash, and a pair of oxen one day. 

"The 29 november 1699 goodwife Shomway Dr 
"to weaving fortty three yeards of cloth at 4d y= yeard 
money, 14 — 4 

" Reconed with Goodwife Shomway the Sixt day of July 1700 
and there Rest dew to me the sum of Sixteen Shillings and four 
pence in money in another place. o — 12 — 6 

" Goodwife Shomway Dr. to weaving a peas of yd. wide cloth 
sometime in the begingin of the winter 1702 and I have forgot 
how much it was. I have found it in another place to be 33 
yeards at 4d the yard three yeards of it was striped at 6d. the 

"July the 23 1705 paid to goodwife Shumway 16 shillings 
there is 12 shillings due to her in this Reconing of money that 
I had for her cloth and I had 3 quarters of a pound of linnin 
yearn of her to strick my slay Credit is of Linsywoolsi cloth one 
year[d] & half. 

' Evidently the wife of Peter, the Soldier. 


" Goodwife Shomway Cr't to half a bushel of wheat 2s 6d 
one peck of beans o — i — o one pound and a half of flax i — 2 
to twelve shillins for Intrast money. 

" October 1 2 1 708. Cozen Shomway Credit to 87 pounds of 
beefe at 2d per pound o — 14 — 6 

" November 1 708. Cozen Shomway Dr to weaving 29 yerds 
cloth 14 — 6 

"Reconed with Goodwife Shomway the 23d day of desem- 
ber 1807 in two other places in this book and there is that pease 
yt mary wove I hant found how much it was yet but all other 
Reconings cleared to this day and I owe her 16 shillings and 
six pence the pease that mary wove above sd was thirty-seven 
yeards 4 d. the yeard." 


AUard, lost children, 8 1. 

Allen, Daniel, representative, 78. 

Allen, Zachariah, L.L. D., 114, 

AUerton, Thos., Bernon's tenant, 

Animals, wild, 52. 
Annawon, death of, 29. 
Auguttebacjj, pond, 49. 
Baird, Chas. W., D. D., 125. 

letter on Shumway, 131. 

letter on Bondet, 1 18. 
Bay-path, 54. 
Bellomont, Earl of, 90, 91, 121. 

to Lords of trade, 91. 
Bernon, in London, 65. 

to settle Oxford, 65. 

grant to, 65. 

pays emigrants' passage, 67. 

appointed Captain, 93. 

sends agents to Ojdord, 97. 

agreement with CoUer, 98, 


yields to Dudley, loi. 

letter to Dudley's son, 103. 

his title doubted, 104. 

rights conceded by Oxford, 

107, 146. 

appeal to Gov. Shute, io5. 

deed from Dudley, etc., 107. 

owns land with Du Tuffeau, 


" line," 108, 142. 

plan of land, 109. 

sells to Mayo and others, 109. 

new lines established, iii, 


his land title withheld, 112. 

sells to Bowdoin, 113. 

papers, 114. 

antecedents, 114. 

Mrs. Lee, on, 115. 

brother Samuel, 115. 

business schemes, 116. 

ship stores, 1 16. 

death, 117. 

makes wash-leather, 127. 

taxed, 146. 
Bible, given to Indians, 22. 
Blackstone river, 35. 
Black James, 36, 37. 

deed, 37. 

black coat, 37. 
Blackwell, John, 40. 

pond, 46. 

new grant, 47. 
Bondet, Daniel. 

removes books, etc., 66, 88. 

in Oxford in 1687, 74. 

statement and petition on 

rum traffic, 76. 

missionary to the Indians, 76. 

forsakes the colony, 82. 

influence, 117. 

descent, 118. 

Dr. Baird, on, 118. 

letter to Mather, 118. 

letter to Cornbury, I20. 

joins English church, 120. 

at New Rochelle, 121. 

death, 122. 

meadow, 122, 143, 145. 

hill, 49, 68, 142. 
Book of accounts, 162. 
Boston, French in, 67, 73. 

gardens in, 74. 



Bourdine, 128. 
Bowdoin, James, 113. 
Brazer, Prof., 86, 133. 
Brookfield, 24. 
Bug swamp, bears, 53. 
Buor, Major, 104. 
Butler, Prof. J. D. 

on Sigourney, 123. 
Burying ground, 69. 
Calvin, John, 60. 
Campbell, Hugh, grant, 31. 
Campbell, John, 160. 
Certificate, Bernon's, 106. 
Chamberlin, John, 104. 

Joseph, 141, 144. 

Nathaniel, 145, 146. 
Chamoiserie, 128. 
Chandler John, John, jr., 57, iii, 

141, 142. 
Charlton, 50. 

city, 45. 
-Chaubunagungamaug, 29. 

signification of, 37. 

Black James, at, 37. 

fight at, 27. 
Children lost, 81. 
Church, Capt., 28. 

Caleb, millwright, 76. 

contract to build a mill, 151. 
Church, Huguenot, 68. 
Coller, Oliver, Nathanael, 98, 100, 

Colony, prospects of, 41. 

history hard to trace, 66. 

when founded, 67. 

papers referring to, 72. 

sends representative, 78. 

prospers and is taxed, 79. 

crops destroyed, 80. 

decline of, 81. 

broken up, 85. 

a body politic, 93. 

traced to 1703, 95. 

final abandonment, 96. 

business in, 127. 

relics of, 131. 
Common way, 45. 
Connecticut path, 53, 55. 

line, 33. 
Constable, 122. 

Cooper, Bernon's agent, 97, 99, 

Cornbury, Lord, 120. 
Cox, Daniel, 40. 
Danforth, Thomas, 29. 
Davis, Samuel, 109, iii. 
Deeds, Indian land, 35. 

reservation in, 38. 
Deed of division, 47, 75. 

Dudley, etc., to Bernon, 75, 

107, 112, 147. 

Bernon to Mayo, etc., no, 113. 
Deer, 52. 
Delias Sieur, 121. 
Departure for Boston, 86. 
Descendants of Huguenots, 128. 
Disasters to early colonies, 24. 
Dudley, Jos., public services, 40. 

acts for proprietors, 47. 

Oxford and Woodstock, 55. 

chairman of committee, 56. 

letter to Bernon, 97, 102. 
Du TuEfeau, I. B., grant to, 65, 


at Kew Rochelle, 124. 

Bernon on, 125. 
Edict of Nantes, 61. 
Eliot, John, 19, 22. 

in Nonantum and Natick, 20. 

labors suspended, 29. 

pleads for Indians, 29. 
Elliot, Daniel, mill, 102. 

mill, brook, 143. 

John, 104. 
English in first colony, 79. 

settle permanently, 139. 
Families, thirty settled, 75. 

Huguenots traced, 96. 

names in Oxford, 137. 
Fitch, Capt., 56. 
Forest, source of food, 94. 
Fort, site of, 68. 

ruins, 133. 

plan, 133. 

Mrs. Sigourney on, 135. 

built by Bernon, 135. 

the small, 69. 
Freak, Thomas, 41. 
French houses, 48. 

river, name, 49. 

1 66 


Congregation, Boston, 92. 

burying place, 69, 144. 
Frencli-town River, 53. 
Game and fish, 52, 73. 
Garden at fort, 135. 
Garrisoned tliree months, 80, 82. 
Gookin, Daniel, magistrate, 22. 

pleads for Indians, 29. 

estimate of Manchaug, 51. 
Gore, John, surveys Manchaug, 

Gorham, Capt., 27. 
Gould, John, Book of Accounts, 

Grafton, 21. 

Great house, 68, 141, 142. 
Grant to Hugh Campbell, 31. 

Robert Thompson, 39. 

Woodstock, 42. 

Oxford, 43. 

Bernon, i)u Tuffeau, 65. 
Graves in French cemetery, 86. 
Grignon, Rene, 92, 98, 127. 
Hagburn, Samuel, 99, 100. 
Hassanamesit, 21, 26. 
Heathcote, Col., 120. 
Henry of Navarre, 60. ' 

History of colony obscure, 66. 
Highway from Boston, 68. 
Hodges village, 46. 
Holland, Dr., bay path, 54. 
Holmes, A., D. D., 58, 114, 133. 
Holmes, Dr. O. W., 84. 
Houses, location, 70. 

traced, 132. 
Huguenots, traits, 62. 

artisans, 62. 

in London, 63. 

agriculturists, 63, 7T. 

settle in America, 64. 
Humphrey, Ebenezer. 

homestead, 69, 86, 144. 
Huntington's address, 55. 
Hutchinson, Edward, 24. 
Indian bible, 22. 

corn, 51. 
Indians and rum, 76, 77, 89, 93. 

described by Miss Larned, 19. 

hostile appeared, 80. 

fear of, 81. 

sell meat to Ingall, 89. 

leave for Pennacook, 91. 

menace Oxford in 1702, 94. 

Canadian, 84. 

and Col. Eb. Learned, 156. 
Ingall, John, complaints, 89. 

brings news to Boston, 89. 

chief trader at Oxford, 89. 
James, the Printer, 26, 28. 
Jesuits seduce Indians, 91. 
Johnson, massacre, 83. 
Johnson, John, 84. 

grave, 86. 

house a tavern, 84. 

chimney stone, 132. 

plain, 83, 142, 143. 
Laborie, James, petition of, 88. 

letter to Belloraont, 90. 

preaches in Oxford, 91. 

salary, 92. 

called to New York, 96, 125. 
Lancaster, 24. 
Land to each family, 73. 
Lawson on Huguenots, 94. 
Learned, Col. Ebenezer 

and the Indians, 1 56. 
Lee, Mrs., 53, 115. 
Letter of Refugee in Boston, 72. 

Sigourney to Prof. Brazer, 86. 

Laborie to Bellomont, go. 

Bellomont to Lords of Trade, 


Dudley to Bernon, 93, 97, t02. 

Bernon to Dudley, 99, loi. 

same to Dudley's son, 103. 

Bondet to Mather, 118. 

same to Lord Cornbury, 120. 
Location, its advantages, 50. 
London, Bernon in, 65. 
Maanexit, 38. 

river, 49. 
Main Street laid out, 143. 
Manchaug, grant at, 34. 

farm, 34. 

pond, 45. 

corner, 45. 

good land, 51. 
Matoonas, 25. 

executed, 28. 

Mather on, 25. 



Massacre of St. Bartholomew, 61. 
Martin, Jean, will of, 125, 
Maquas, 84. 

first Missionary Society, 19. 
Mashamoquet hill, 50. 
Mayo, Thomas, 109, 1 10. 
Mayo, John, 53, in, 134, 135, 142. 
Meadow, Mendon, 52. 

Bondet, 122. 
Meadows, 51. 

divided, 143. 

great, 143. 
Mendon, 24. 

meadow, 52. 
Mills, location, 6g, 103. 
Mill, old, old mill place, 70, 144, 


built in 1689, 76. 

contract, 76, 151. 

stones given Elliot, loi. 

old, Hagburn holding, 100. 

corn, wash-leather, saw, 106. 

upper site, relics, 135. 

grist, vote of town on, 143. 
Nanfan, M., 121. 
Nantes Edict, 61. 
Names of families, 137. 
Neland's field, 143. 

home lot, 144. 
New Oxford and New Roxbury, 

55. 57- 
New Roxbury grant, 56. 
Nipmuck Country, 17. 

signification of name, 18. 

Indians, 19. 

join Philip, 23. 

attack Wheeler, 24. 

Palfrey, on, 26. 

kindly treated, 27. 

chiefs hanged, 28. 

results of war to, 29. 

lands, purchase of, 33. 
Oxford, grant for, 43. 

name, 43. 

grant described, 44. 

and Woodstock, Eng., 44. 

Village set off, 46. 

plains and meadows, 50. 

county seat, 58. 

certificate to Bernon, io6. 

concedes Bernon's rights,i07, 

Orange St. chapel, London, 63. 
Orchards, 132, 144. 
Owen, Josiah, 104. 
Pakachoag, Matoonas at, 25. 
Papers, Bernon, 114. 

referring to colony, 72. 
Papillon, Peter, 46, 47. 
Papineau, Jean, 128. 
Peiret, Pierre, 125. 
Petition of Hugh Campbell, 31. 

D. Bondet, 76. 

selectmen of Woodstock, 77. 

Sigourney the constable, 80. 

James Laborie, 88. 

French Elders, 92. 

Peter Shumway, 159. 
Pennacook, 91. 
Peter pond, 45. 
Philip, 23. 

sheltered by Nipmucks, 24. 

war closing, 28. 

death, 28. 
Plantation General, 46. 
Plantations, locations of, 70. 
Plan of settlement, 70. 
Praying towns, 21. 
Proclamation of owners, 138. 
Proprietors' lands divided, 46. 
Records, Proprietors', 141 . 
Reformation in France, 59. 
Refugees, number, 62. 
Refugee, letter of, 72. 
Relics, 131, 136. 
Representative, 78. 
Report on Bernon land, 145. 
Re-settlement, 88. 
Reservation, Indian, 38. 
Revocation of Edict, 62. 
Road, first wagon, 74. 

French, 74. 

to fort laid out, 144. 
Rochelle, 65. 
Rockwood, Joseph, 53. 
Sabin, Lieut., 

trouble at Woodstock, 95. 
Salem, collection in, 67. 
Sandersdale, 45. 

1 68 


Sargent, Daniel, 74. 
Scene at leaving, 86. 
Settlers, demand for, 42. 
Scotch emigrants, 31. 
Settlement time extended, 59. 

beauty of, 70. 
Ship stores, 116. 
Shomway, Goodwife, 162. 
Shumway, Peter, 129, 143. 

petition of, 129, 159. 

name, 130. 
Shute, Gov., 106. 
Sigourney, Andrew, 122. 

reply to order, 80. 

Mrs. L. H. on ruins, 135. 

Susan, 84. 

letter to Prof. Brazer, 86. 

family, 123, 129, 154. 
Society for christianizing Indians, 

Soldiers in Oxford in 1703, 95. 
Snow, Dr., 67. 
Springfield road, 35, 53. 
Stoughton and Dudley 

move for grant, 32. 

report on lands, 33. 

lands bought, 34. 

they compensated, 34. 

intimate, 40. 
Stoughton, William, 39. 
Streams, 52. 
Sturbridge line, 45. 
Talcott, Major, 27. 
Taxes ordered, 79. 

remitted, 80. 
Thompson, Robert, 38. 

Mass. grant to, 39. 

Conn, grant to, 39. 
Tom, the negro, 97. 
Topsfield records, 160, 161. 
Town, Ephraim, 104, 105. 

John and Israel, 

home lots, 143. 
Uncas, 23, 52. 
Vandenbosch Laurent, 73. 
Village set off, 46. 

" Line," 46. 

Proprietors' meeting, no. 
Waban sells land, 35. 

deed from, 36. 

justice of peace, 37. 
Wagons, 74. 
Wash-leather, 127, 128. 
Watertown, settlers from, 18. 
Wattascompanum, 22. 

false, 25. 

executed, 28. 

injustice to, 30. 
Water power, 52. 
Weld, William, 109, no. 
Wethersfield, 18. 
Wheeler, Capt., 24. 
Wigwams built together, 27. 
Winthrop, John, 17. 
Wolcott, Josiah, 47. 
Woodstock, settlement of, 42 

soldiers in Oxford, 58. 

selectmen, petition, 77. 

made a " frontier," 87. 

Indians leave, 91. 

great trail, 142. 
Worcester, 24. 

county formed, 57. 

Cornell University Library 
F 74 .09D181 

Hug^uenots in the NIpmuck country or Oxfo 

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